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!


  1. Thank you so much for putting this list together! I have four granddaughters aged three and under. They all adore Princess Books

  2. I still am a sucker for Princess Stories, even though I am nearly 30! I love The Paper Bag Princess. I read it a lot in PJ storytimes, and the kids love it. Oooo, and Ella Enchanted! And Princess Academy 🙂

  3. What a fun list! I’ve enjoyed many of these, and will keep my eye open for more of them! It’s a little older, but I really love M.M. Kaye’s “The Ordinary Princess” for middle grade readers, as well as Patricia Wrede’s “Dealing With Dragons”.

  4. Love the list! Some great recommendations for our grand-girls who are definitely in the princess/fairy phase. They live in Shanghai– so I’m their English book source. thanks

  5. I think Princess Academy is my favorite on your list. The audiobook is fantastic!

  6. I love The Paper Bag Princess! It was my first introduction to feminism. And the Royal Diaries series is excellent YA historical fiction. I haven’t read the version of The Twelve Dancing Princesses you have listed, but I did have the privelege of proofing a reprint of Ruth Sanderson’s retelling. While the premise itself is somewhat unsettling, Sanderson’s illustrations are gorgeous.

  7. Oh Wow Katie
    This is the most fabulous list. We aren’t quite at the princess phase but I am heavily armed when it hits. Thank you so much, so many of the books look totally enchanting, so even if Gigi doesn’t go through a phase, maybe her mother will lol. Thanks for linking it into the hop.

  8. I really liked many of these but my fav. princess book of all time is Marigold and the Dragon by Fred Crump Jr., 1964. Thanks for sharing at The Children’s Bookshelf.

  9. I see a lot of Pinkalious checked out the library in my class. 🙂

  10. I absolutely agree that M M Kaye’s “The Ordinary Princess” is a must for any princess list, although I am looking fwd to introducing my daughter to the Princess Academy which I had not heard of. I think I am going to dig out my old copy of “The Ordinary Princess” right away, I just loved that book when I was around 10 – I used to rewrite versions of it with myself as the lead character of course!

    • Thanks for the recommendation! I just put The Ordinary Princess on hold at the library and I can’t wait to check it out. I hope your daughter likes Princess Academy!

  11. What a fantastic range of books-I have to admit I’m drawn to the more alternative or feisty princesses (as is my daughter!) Brilliant, thanks.

  12. I know The Paperbag Princess but thank you to introducing me to lots more Princess books that I don’t know).

    I would also add;

    The Princess and the Peas (it encouraged my daughter to eat peas!).

    The Kite Princess (a tomboy princess who rebels against her parents in a wonderfully original way).

    The Rescue Princesses (chapter book for 6 to 9 year olds, tomboy princesses with ninja moves :o)!).

    I have them all on my blog.

  13. Found you via the Hop! Love the themed princess post here (okay, maybe not for me, but a great resource fro referring students and parents). Your blog looks terrific! Please swing by and visit at

  14. What a great idea to assemble the very best in Princess themed books. My favorite has got to be “Ella Enchanted,” by Gail Carson Levine. Thanks, Katie. It’s nice to meet you. : )

  15. LOVE the Princess post. We will be using this list often. Thank you!

  16. What a great list! My best friend just found out she was having a girl yesterday, so this will come in handy! Do you have a favorite from this list?

    • My favorite picture book from this list would have to be The Princess and the Pig (I’ll be posting a full-length review soon!) and my favorite of the novels listed is Ella Enchanted. I was in middle school when I first read it and I’ve loved it ever since!

  17. What a great list, and there’s one by Tomie dePaola, too! We love his books. I think my little one is about to start her princess phase, so this is really wonderful! 🙂

  18. I love how you put this list together! The paperbag princess is my kind of princess! lol I haven’t run across many of these though. I’ll have to check into some of the ones for older girls. My daughter might like some of those. Thanks for co-hosting the Kid Lit Blog Hop! 🙂

  19. What an amazing post! I’ve read a few books on that list. Have you read Two Moon Princess by Carmen Ferreiro-Esteban (Tanglewood Press)?

  20. Wow! What an awesome list. You have some of my all time favorites here. I think the only one I might add would be Princess of the Midnight Ball and Tuesdays at the Castle by Jessica Day George and The Wide-Awake Princess by E.D. Baker.

  21. This is a great list! We’ve really enjoyed the Princess and the Pig. Have you read The Princesses Have a Ball by Teresa Bateman? We discovered this book about a week ago and it is fantastic!

    We’ll have to check out more princess books — especially Princess Hyacinth. I’m becoming a big fan of Lane Smith’s work.

  22. LOVE your list! I am collecting strong and capable princess books for girls too! We have many of the same books on our lists! Love that!

  23. Looks awesome love ur blog

  24. A nice book to add would be dragon slippers by Jessica day gorge

  25. Wow, that’s a lot of princesses. What girl doesn’t like them? Thanks for compiling such a great list 🙂

  26. Funny how there are multiple princess and pig pairings! 🙂 I can’t tell you how many times I have read Ella Enchanted in my life. That reminds me, I think my mom has my copy in her classroom. I might have to plan a raid to get it back! Thanks for hosting!

  27. Great list. My students are always asking for princess books in the library.

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  30. An awesome list. I found some new ones here that we are going to explore.

  31. This is a great princess list! My little one loves princesses at the moment and I think she would adore the Princess and the Pig. I really like the book cover. Thanks for sharing! Found you via the Booknificent Thursday Blog Hop

  32. Wow! What a fantastic list! A few of my favorites are in there (Paper Bag Princess and everything Shannon Hale) but there are a lot I haven’t read yet! I need to get busy! Thanks so much for sharing this at Booknificent Thursday! Hope to see you again this week.

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  35. No princess book list is complete without Pickle-Chiffon Pie Olympics!

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