The Princess List

Looking for books about princesses? Look no further!

When I worked at Borders, I got hundreds of requests for books about princesses. I know that the “princess phase” is something that some parents dread, so I decided to put together a comprehensive list of my most recommended princess books, some traditional, some modern. Each of these great titles has something to offer readers, and hopefully you’ll enjoy them as much as I do!

Younger readers will love these princess-themed picture books:

Rapunzel: Based on the Original Story by the Brothers Grimm
adapted and illustrated by Sarah Gibb

Fans of the Disney movie Tangled will enjoy reading the original tale of Rapunzel. The dazzlingly gorgeous illustrations make this book a must-own. Ages 5+.

Princess Hyacinth
written by Florence Parry Heide and illustrated by Lane Smith

Princess Hyacinth is a perfectly normal girl. Except for one minor detail: she floats. This hilarious, offbeat story will keep kids in stitches, and Lane Smith (one of my favorite illustrators) does some of his best work. Ages 4-8.

The Paper Bag Princess
written by Robert Munsch and illustrated by Michael Martchenko

Princess Elizabeth is a smart, savvy heroine who doesn’t need to wait around and be rescued. She would rather do the rescuing herself! Click here to read my full review. Ages 4-8.

The Princess Knight
written by Cornelia Funke and illustrated by Kerstin Meyer

Princess Violetta wants to be as strong and brave as her three brothers. She practices, in secret, and soon becomes one of the most nimble knights in the land. When the king announces that a jousting tournament will determine who Violetta must marry, the princess takes matters into her own hands. Ages 5-9.

Adelita: A Mexican Cinderella Story
written and illustrated by Tomie dePaola

Fans of Cinderella will love Adelita! The book features beautiful painted illustrations, which combine Mexican folk art with dePaola’s iconic style. The book also includes many Spanish phrases and a glossary at the end. Ages 5-9.

Dangerously Ever After
written by Dashka Slater and illustrated by Valeria Docampo

Plucky Princess Amanita loves everything dangerous. Boys and girls alike will love reading about this non-traditional princess. Ages 4-9.

The Twelve Dancing Princesses
adapted by Marianna Mayer and illustrated by Kinuko Craft

In this retelling of a classic German fairy tale, twelve bewitched princesses sneak out of their castle every night and dance until dawn. The story is quite long, making it better suited to older children, but the rich artwork is what makes this book so special. Ages 7-10.

The Princess and the Pig
written by Jonathan Emmett and illustrated by Poly Bernatene

A baby princess and a piglet accidentally switch places in this laugh-out-loud fractured fairy tale. Ages 4-8.

The Princess and the Pizza
written and illustrated by Mary Jan Auch and Herm Auch

An out-of-work princess makes a surprising culinary discovery. Ages 4-8.

The Very Fairy Princess
written by Julie Andrews and Emma Walton Hamilton and illustrated by Christine Davenier

Geraldine knows that she’s a princess. But she also knows that there’s more to being a princess than wearing sparkly crowns and pink dresses; princesses are practical, creative, and know when to take charge! Ages 3-7.

Princess Pigsty
written by Cornelia Funke and illustrated by Kerstin Meyer

When young Princess Isabella becomes bored with her privileged life, she ends up in the most unlikely of places: working in a pigsty. Ages 3-7.

Not All Princesses Dress in Pink
written by Jane Yolen and Heidi E. Y. Stemple

This lively rhyming tale shows a multitude of princesses who love to play sports, read books, ride their bikes, and even dig in the dirt, all while wearing their crowns. Ages 3-7.

For ages 9-13, check out these princess-themed novels:

Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine

Princess Academy by Shannon Hale

The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale

The Two Princesses of Bamarre by Gail Carson Levine

The Birthday Ball by Lois Lowry

The Frog Princess by E.D. Baker

The Thirteenth Princess by Diane Zahler

Cleopatra VII: Daughter of the Nile by Kristiana Gregory

Elizabeth I: Red Rose of the House of Tudor by Kathryn Lasky

Marie Antoinette: Princess of Versailles by Kathryn Lasky

Do you have a favorite princess story that didn’t make the list? Let me know in the comments!

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