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A Tale of Two Princesses :: Princess Books for Girls

by Jean Van't Hul
March 8, 2010

The Paper Bag Princess

The Paper Bag Princess is not exactly a new book (it has been around for almost 20 years), but it’s one that we read a lot in our house.

It’s a fun story, so Maia likes it, and it portrays the princess as proactive and smart, so I like it.

Here’s an interior photo of the spunky princess outsmarting the dragon:

Non Traditional Princess Books for Girls - The Paper Bag Princess Interior

The princess seeks out the dragon in his lair after he burns down the castle and carries away the prince. She outsmarts the dragon by playing to his big ego and having him show off how fast he can fly and how much fire he can breathe.

In the end he’s completely exhausted and she’s able to rescue the prince (who turns out to be not such a great catch).

Princess hyacinth book

Here’s another princess book we’ve been reading and enjoying—Princess Hyacinth: the Surprising Tale of a Girl Who Floated.

This one is pretty new. It’s only been out for a few months now.


It’s a fun story as well, although much more of a traditional princess story in that the princess plays a relatively passive role (she floats!) and in the end she’s rescued by a boy.

As much as we like Princess Hyacinth, I’d love to find more books like The Paper Bag Princess that portray the female as strong and smart. Any recommendations?

Update: We’ve since read many great books that fit the bill and here’s a list of some of our favorites:

Non Traditional Princess Books to Empower our Girls

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