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The Monster Princess: a new book

by Jean Van't Hul
June 7, 2010

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We have a new favorite book in the house. The Monster Princess arrived last week and was read three times the first day, two the next, and continues to be read at least a couple of times a day.

This book isn’t even out yet, not until early August. Someone at Simon and Schuster has started sending me review copies of books and this is one of them. We’ve enjoyed a couple of the others, but this one we are absolutely in love with!

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The text by D.J. MacHale (of Pendragon fame) is lyrical and magical and so fun to read. Must be memorable, too, because Maia’s been reciting snippets throughout the day, especially a lovely tidbit about having princess pie (said in a deep monster voice). The way the text reads reminds me of Wild Child and Winter Waits, two of our favorite books by Lynn Plourde.

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The Monster Princess is about Lala, a sweet little monster who lives underground but dreams of being a princess. She comes up to the castle one day and sneaks into the princesses’ room (there are three of them) to try on their dresses. They catch her at it and offer to dress her up and take her to the ball. The evening doesn’t end well, but the book does. Lala learns to appreciate herself and her life for what it is.

The story is a good one. And it’s perfect for Maia, intrigued as she is with monsters, and surrounded by princess-loving friends (and a princess-loving culture).

A while back I posted about a couple of princess books we were reading and asked for recommendations of books that portray females as strong and smart. I think we’ve read just about every one that was recommended, and there were a LOT! I was going to write a post about the books we read, but it seemed like it would mostly just be a list of what you had recommended so didn’t in the end.

But The Monster Princess fits perfectly into this theme. Lala is strong, smart, and resourceful and decides in the end that she is happy with who she is.

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The illustrations, by Alexandra Boiger, are wonderful, too! This book has the perfect combination of good story, lyrical prose, beautiful pictures, and a popular topic. It’s a keeper. We’re going to have to buy ourselves a proper copy since the one we have isn’t bound.

And, in case you are wondering, I have not yet made Maia’s purple monster costume. Soon, soon…


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