I’ve written a lot about the need for diversity in kidlit, and New Zealander illustrator Katie O’Neill‘s Princess Princess Ever After hits on all the right notes. Told through O’Neill’s vibrant depictions, this love story of two young princesses saving towns from monsters and fighting back against dark magic will delight readers of all ages.
Princess Princess opens with Princess Amira mounted on her trusty unicorn steed, Celeste, riding toward the sounds of screams coming from yon tower. When she arrives to rescue the fair maiden — Princess Sadie — at its top, Amira learns that, although the object of her heroism has been imprisoned, she has not been shrieking for help, but singing. With her pet dragon, Oliver, in tow, Sadie joins Amira — and her “sword, a unicorn, and kick-butt hair” — on her mission to become a real hero.
Both Amira and Sadie have been ousted from their home kingdoms in some way. After learning that her parents intended to marry her off to one of a lineup of unimpressive princess, Amira ran away with Celeste to make her own place in the world. To secure Sadie’s inheritance for herself, an evil sorceress locked the shorter princess away in a tower. Although Amira dreams of being a monster-slaying hero, it’s Sadie who develops the most over the course of Princess Princess Ever After, overcoming her anxieties in order to prove others wrong.
Princess Princess features a diverse cast of characters, a body-positive role model, and two non-hetero heroines who prove that you don’t have to look a certain way to be a princess. It’s a must-read for anyone who wants to diversify their comics consumption or their children’s bookshelf.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
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Image credit: jill111