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Who Wants to Be a Princess?: What It Was Really Like to Be a Medieval Princess
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Who Wants to Be a Princess?: What It Was Really Like to Be a Medieval Princess

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  202 ratings  ·  50 reviews
Did you ever wish to be a princess? Have you ever wanted to wear a pretty pink gown, sing to your forest animal friends, and attend a fancy fairy-tale ball?

Then meet Beatrice—she represents what being a princess in the Middle Ages was really like. Pink gown? More like itchy wool! Sing to animals? Think archery and horseback riding instead. Beatrice’s life is no fairy tale,
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published March 21st 2017 by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
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3.97  · 
Rating details
 ·  202 ratings  ·  50 reviews

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Aug 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I cannot wait to hand this to adults who are getting a wee bit tired of their kids'/nieces'/nephews'/tiny friends' obsessions with princesses. This is a great nonfiction picture book that tells readers exactly what it was really like to be a medieval princess--it's far less fancy and flowery (and far more interesting) than Disney suggests.
RH Walters
Dec 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
With rats, itchy garments and child marriage, this book playfully throws cold water on princess fantasies. Has it successfully convinced my princess-loving daughter? I don't think so, but it's a welcome counterweight to the magical kingdom.
Sep 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
I read an early copy of this book via work, with no obligation to leave a personal review.

This is a fun picture book with side-by-side pages on the imagined life of a fairy tale princess, and the actual life of a real life medieval princess. I'd love to see more books like this on other topics (like what it's really like to be a knight). I just wish it could have been longer and incorporated even more fun facts--but it is a picture book, so it's true that it can't really be much longer.
Aug 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
A super cute and charming book about the realities of being a medieval princess vs the Disney version!
Jul 02, 2018 rated it liked it
Using the stereotypes of a princess's life in fairy tales the author paints a clear--albeit limited--picture of what a day in the life of a medieval princess would have truly been like.

And the author's note at the end summarized the information well while also emphasizing that things changed over the course of the Middle Ages and that different areas had different experiences.

Overall, a good book to (perhaps) give a modern-day princess wannabe a better idea of what she's really missing out on.
Aug 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children
Cute story, I really liked this idea; loved the typeface; cute drawings. Yup, this was cute and well-done.
Cindy Mitchell *Kiss the Book*
Heos, Bridget. Who Wants To Be a Princess? What It Was Really Like to Be a Medieval Princess. Illustrated by Migy. Henry Holt and Co, 2017. $16.99. Content: G. PICTURE BOOK.

You may think being a princess is all poufy gowns, tiaras, and handsome princes, but you would be wrong. To illustrate the difference between popular fairytales and what the middle ages were really like for princesses, the author uses two-page spreads—one side the fairytale and the other the reality. For example, on one side,
Aug 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The text and pictures work together beautifully to help educate a child on what it was really like to be a princess in medieval times. The font is fun and not your typical textbook style font. The illustrations are engaging and beautiful, not like the usual photographs I would consider when thinking about a non-fiction book. The book seems well researched with a bibliography in the back. With the fictional fairy-tale princess always discussed on the left section of the two pages, and the realist ...more
May 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
As an elementary school librarian, I spend a certain amount of time finding princess books for kids. And since this becomes tiresome very quickly, I created a fairy tales shelf and point my princess book loving friends in that direction.

And I love this book! It breaks down traditional ideas of what being a princess is all about -- fancy dresses, going to balls, meeting Princess Charming -- and simply and clearly presents the realities of life as a medieval princess. Recommended for grades 1 - 2
Jun 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Very nicely done juxtaposition of what many little girls imagine a princess' life was like with the historic middle ages reality. When I first saw the cover I thought it was a Disney movie-related book but I was pleasantly surprised when I read it. Shame on me for jumping to conclusions! The story is fun with plenty of historical information for young readers. The illustrations include lots of interesting details and are quite appealing. An Author's Note provides more factual information and a B ...more
Jul 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Age: Preschool-Kindergarten

Intriguing side-by-side comparison of a fairytale princess versus a historically accurate princess of the Middle Ages. The story is told without belittling an audience that adores Disney princesses while providing a more accurate depiction of a Medieval princess. Historical accuracies like marrying young and living in not-so desirable conditions are presented gently enough so as not to scare the reader.
Jun 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picturebook
Aimed squarely at Disney princess-mad girls, this book contrasts images they might have about princesses with what life was really like. Castles were dark and dirty and full of rats, moats were full of sewage and girls married who their parents told them age 12! Most pages will have the pink idealized version (in inks, paint, and digital) on the left side, and the reality on the right. An author's note and a bibliography end the book.
Meg McGregor
Oct 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lexi-victoria
The girls are going to the Renaissance Festival this Sunday with their grandparents; so this book was perfect, to help my little princesses, realize what it really felt like to live in the Middle Ages!

They loved the fairy tale aspect of the Middle Ages (on the left hand side of the book) but were not as enthusiastic about living by a smelly moat, having to sleep with four or five other people in a bed, or having to marry at the age of 12. Fancy that! LOL
Jun 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
When you're a Medieval princess, life isn't quite a fairy tale. There are stinky moats and rats in the castle; there are itchy, wool dresses for everyday and you don't even get to wear your tiara except for really special occasions! And Prince Charming could be someone you don't even know. Yikes! Still want to be a princess?

Includes an author's note and bibliography for further reading.
I like this princess book, especially the way it juxtaposes our princess fantasies with a possible princess's reality. This book manages to give the facts about a medieval princess's life without making distasteful the overall dream of being a princess in the first place. It's kind of an homage to princess life, like "Hot Fuzz" is an homage to cop movies; it lovingly pokes fun.
Aug 25, 2017 rated it liked it
This book was different but it was cute. It compares fairytale princesses to real medieval princesses. There are some facts that I would check before reading it to children just to make sure they are accurate and to give more information if the children ask questions but this book is a great way to teach children that books are not always true stories or have accurate information in them.
Oct 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
My students are always asking me for princess books and I can't wait to share this book with them! I hope it will get them to think twice about wanting to become a princess when they grow up. It is a great time to talk about how what we see in movies isn't real
Mar 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
I definitely want to get this for my elementary school library collection. I love how the cover looks like all the other princess books a lot of my students go crazy for, but then this will give them a totally different take on the topic. Brilliant!
Jun 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars. This is a funny book about the what life was really like for princesses outside of fairy tales. It would make a great addition on children's shelves to contrast the typical Barbie princess books, and maybe get the kiddos interested in researching history.
Mar 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, children
This is a fun book to read to children about the difference between fairy tale princesses and what life was really like for princesses during medieval times (living in gray stone castles, learning archery, and being given away in arranged marriages to forge alliances).
Apr 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Perfect to read to all of the little prospective princesses and princes in your life. It explains what medieval life was like in age-appropriate terms.
Ellen Zarate
Oct 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
A humorous look at the perceptions and reality of life as a medieval princess
Sep 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Love this cute book!! I can't wait to share it with my students. I really l9ove the Bibliography at the end. I am going to use it with my older students in doing research.
extraordinary ordinary whimsy
Such a good book. Side by side images and short but meaningful comparisons make this one a win win!
Ian McHugh
Jul 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Super stuff. A lovely antidote to the idea that a princess had an easy life surrounded by pink dresses and gold carriages and glass slippers.

Florence thought the itchy clothes would be horrid.
Jun 19, 2017 rated it liked it
This made me laugh, it was funny and cute.
Jan 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: pbnf-300
An excellent comparison between fairy tale princesses, and what the lives of real, actual princesses were like in the years between 1100 and 1300 A. D.
Jess Verzello
May 31, 2017 rated it liked it
An interesting perspective on fantasy vs. realistic medieval princesses. Still a little glazed over, but it is intended for a younger audience.
Amanda Harrison
Jun 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: elementary
A readable narrative about the 'real' lives of princesses. Should be a hit with the princess crowd!
Jul 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens, e-books, 2018
I loved this! Super cute and colorful!
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