16 empowering princess books

Everyone loves a princess, and these books show that there's definitely more to being a princess than wearing fancy crowns and frilly dresses.

16 empowering princess books

Best Princess Books

Princess and the Pit Stop

Written by Tom Angleberger and illusrated by dan Santat, Abrams Books for Young Readers (Ages 5-7) Once upon a time there was a princess…who wanted to win a car race. While the Birds and Beasts changed her tires, her Fairy Godmother told her she was in last place. Will this princess give up? Of course not! $22,

Book cover of a empowering character in front of a carPhoto: Abrams Books for Young Readers

Princess and the Peas

Written and illustrated by Rachel Himes, Charlesbridge Children’s Books (ages 5-8) In this twist on the Princess and the Pea, three ladies must prove they can cook better than Ma Sally in order to marry her son, John. When one girl named Princess wins his hand, she decides to flip the script and make him work for her. $20,

Cover art for Princess and the Peas showing a woman in a kitchen holding a black-eyed peaPhoto: Charlesbridge Children's Books


Hamster Princess: Whiskerella

Written and illustrated by Ursula Vernon, Dial Books for Young Readers (ages 8-12) Follow Princess Harriet Hamsterbone in this fifth instalment of the Hamster Princess series. When Harriet is forced to go to a ball, she’s totally bored until the mysterious Whiskerella shows up. Your kids will love this twist on the classic Cinderella story. $18,

Cover art for Hamster Princess Whiskerella showing a hamster princess holding a sword and a shoePhoto: Dial Books for Young Readers

A Little Princess

Written by Jennifer Adams and illustrated by Alison Oliver, Gibbs Smith (ages 0-3) Sara is friends with everyone, including her dad, her dolls and even the rats! This simple board book is the perfect way to introduce the importance of friendship. $14,

Cover art for A Little Princess showing two girls hugging wearing matching dressesPhoto: Gibbs Smith

Do Princesses Make Happy Campers?

Written by Carmela LaVigna Coyle and illustrated by Mike Gordon, Taylor Trade Publishing (ages 3-7) What does it take to be a princess? Using cute rhymes and adorable illustrations, this book shows kids that what makes you a princess is totally up to you. $21,

Cover art for Do Princesses Make Happy Campers? showing a illustrated girl wearing a backpack and standing on top of a hillPhoto: Taylor Trade Publishing


Princesses On the Run

Written and illustrated by Smiliana Coh, Running Press (ages 4-7) Princess Antonia is super bored even though she has the prettiest dresses, the coolest toys and the friendliest elephant. She decides to run away with her friends and go on a big adventure. Will she find the excitement she’s looking for?  $19,

Cover art for Princesses on the Run showing princesses running away in a linePhoto: Running Press

The Very Fairy Princess

Written by Julie Andrews and Emma Walton Hamilton and illustrated by Christine Davenier, Little Brown Books for Young Readers (ages 4-8) Gerry loves to do all the things that fairy princesses do, but things aren’t always so prim and proper. This book will show your kids the importance of believing in yourself and sharing your inner sparkle. $20,

Cover art for The Very Fairy Princess showing an illustrated girl wearing a pink crown and fairy wingsPhoto: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers


Written by Emily Jenkins and illustrated by Yoko Tanaka, Farrar Straus Giroux Books (ages 3-6) In Princessland, everyone’s a princess, which is why Romy wants to go the so badly. Luckily, Romy’s friend, Lady Cat, is willing to take her there with the power of imagination. $24,

Cover art for Princessland showing a girl sitting on a branch wearing a flower crownPhoto: Farrar Straus Giroux Books


Don’t Kiss the Frog! Princess Stories with Attitude

Compiled by Fiona Waters and illustrated by Ella Burfoot, Kingfisher Books (ages 6-10) This anthology of princess stories shows that princess can be sleepy, sporty, clumsy, brave, resourceful and curious. Your kids will love these princesses with attitude. $10,

Cover art for Don't Kiss The Frog showing a princess about to kiss a frog in her handPhoto: Kingfisher Books

Princess Hair

Written and illustrated by Sharee Miller, Little Brown Books for Young Readers (ages 4-8) All princesses wear crowns, but underneath those crowns, they have all different kinds of hair. Celebrate all the diverse styles and textures of natural hair with this self-affirming book for all kinds of princesses. $24,

Cover art for Princess hair showing several girls with crowns and different hairPhoto: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

The Paper Bag Princess

Written by Robert Munsch and illustrated by Michael Martchenko, Annick Press, Limited (ages 3-5) A Canadian classic first published in 1980, this book tells the story of a princess who outsmarts a fiery dragon to save a prince, only to find out that underneath all his fancy clothes and good looks, he is (in her words) “a bum.” $8,

Cover art for the Paper Bag Princess showing a princess dressed in a paper bag looking at a dragonPhoto: Annick Press


The Princess in Black

Written by Shannon Hale and Dean Hale and illustrated by Leuyen Pham, Candlewick Press (ages 5-8) Princess Magnolia may look dainty, but she’s secretly a hero named the Princess in Black. When a big, blue monster comes to terrorize the land, can she sneak away, transform, and defeat it before the nosy duchess discovers her secret? $10,

Cover art for The Princess in Black showing a princess jumping down like a spy wearing all blackPhoto: Candlewick Press

The Seven Princesses

Written and illustrated by Smiliana Coh, Running Press (ages 6-8) There once was a kingdom with seven princess sisters who loved to laugh and play until, one day, they got into a big fight that was the loudest the kingdom had ever seen. Can they figure out how to get along and bring joy and laughter back to their land? $22,

Cover art for The seven Princesses showing seven sisters in separate bubbles looking at each otherPhoto: Running Press

My Rules for Being a Pretty Princess

Written and illustrated by Heath McKenzie, Sourcebooks (ages 4+) When this little girl finds out she gets to be a princess she’s ecstatic! But when she realizes how boring it is to be prim and proper, she decides to make up her own rules for being royalty. $24,

Cover art for My Rules for being a pretty princess showing a girls swinging from a ripped page wearing a tutu and rainbow tightsPhoto: Sourcebooks


Cinderella and the Furry Slippers

Written by Davide Cali and illustrated by Raphaelle Barbanegre, Tundra Books (ages 3-7) Cinderella’s heard all the fairy tales about true love. But when she finally gets everything she wanted, she learns that sometimes, things actually ARE too good to be true. $22,

Cover art for Cinderella and the Furry Slippers showing an illustrated cinderella looking frazzeled with her stepsisters looking at her angrilyPhoto: Tundra Books

The Princess and the Pearl

Written by E.D. Baker, Bloomsbury Children’s Books (ages 8-12) The sixth installment of the Wide-Awake Princess Series follows Annie in a quest to find a pearl that will cure her father’s illness. Her immunity to magic makes her the only one who can save him, but can she recover the pearl from the clutch of the sea witch? $12,

Cover art for Princess and the Pearl showing a Princess on a wooden ship looking out at a dolphin jumping out of the waterPhoto: Bloomsbury Children's Books

Read more: 28 empowering books with strong female characters 13 kids' books that challenge gender stereotypes Nickelodeon's new princess doesn't need a prince to save the day

This article was originally published on Apr 25, 2018

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