Kid Lit: The Princess in Black and the Perfect Princess Party

The Princess in Black and the Perfect Princess Party (The Princess in Black #2) by Shannon and Dean Hale

Goodreads Summary:
Inconvenient monster alarms, a sparkly array of princess guests, and spot-on slapstick pacing make for a party readers will celebrate.

Today is Princess Magnolia’s birthday party, and she wants everything to be perfect. But just as her guests are arriving . . . Brring! Brring! The monster alarm! Princess Magnolia runs to the broom closet, ditches her frilly clothes, and becomes the Princess in Black! She rushes to the goat pasture, defeats the monster, and returns to the castle before her guests discover her secret. But every time Princess Magnolia is about to open her presents, the monster alarm rings again. And every time she rushes back—an inside-out dress here, a missing shoe there—it gets harder to keep the other princesses from being suspicious. Don’t those monsters understand that now is not a good time for an attack?

We love The Princess in Black in our house. I recently bought a copy through Christopher’s Scholastic book order in preparation for the sequel. We’ve been waiting for this book for a long time.

I understand that Christopher isn’t exactly the target audience because this is a “girl” book. But the first book has a good mix of adventure, monsters, super hero action, and princess stuff. There’s even the prospect of Duff the goat boy becoming a super hero side kick in a future book. So it can work for boys as well. And we don’t really subscribe to boy vs. girl toys in our house. Christopher plays with My Little Pony and Shopkins, although many people might consider those “girl” toys.

That being said, I was worried that this book might be a lot “girlier” because of the princess party aspect. And I’d seen some tweets from Shannon Hale talking about the other princesses who’d be making appearances in the book.

My Thoughts:
I didn’t like this book at much as the first book. And not even just because of the 12 extra princesses.

It’s Princess Magnolia’s birthday, so she’s invited her princess friends to the castle for a party. But during that party the monster alarm keeps going off. And she keeps having to come up with excuses to distract the other princesses, so no one figures out her secret.

There was a lot of back and forth between the party and the goat pasture. And more monsters. Sort of. Unlike the first book, Hale doesn’t show the monster point of view, which made it a little less funny.

The first book was so unique and fun, and Princess Magnolia was trying to keep her secret from a snooping Duchess, so I didn’t mind the lying. In this story, she keeps lying to her friends about what the alarm is. I know that’s a thing with super heroes, but I’ve never really understood why super heroes need to be so secretive. One of the princesses seems to be on to Princess Magnolia, and I was really hoping she’d figure it out.

Also, I was disappointed that Duff didn’t make much of an appearance in this book, except to yell for help. I understand the desire to have a story where the girl is the hero, but isn’t there a little room for a boy side kick?

Maybe young girls and parents of girls will enjoy this book more than I did. I’m still hopeful that the third book will be a little more appealing to boys as well as girls. I will definitely still check it out when it’s published. I’m just sad I didn’t enjoy this book more.

My Rating: 3 Stars

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    1. Well said. I want to read this one a couple more times with Christopher. I couldn't exactly put my finger on why it didn't appeal to him or me quite as much as the first one. I re-wrote this post several times, and I'm still not happy with how it turned out. But I ran out of time.

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