I’ve had a few parents ask me the same question in recent weeks: “My daughter only wants to read about princesses. Do you have any stories about girl heroes?” The answer is yes; in fact, some of my favourite picture books feature strong-willed, determined, and courageous girls who do more than just wear pink and get rescued.
“A Princess, A Pirate, and One Wild Brother,” by Cornelia Funke
This book actually contains three stories (bonus!), but the first one is the most relevant. This princess does not want to lounge about having her nails filed. She wants to be a knight. Through dedication and hardheadedness, she becomes the best knight of all. Awesome.
“That Rabbit Belongs to Emily Brown!” by Cressida Cowell
The Queen takes a liking to Emily Brown’s stuffed bunny. Emily Brown does not want to give away her stuffed bunny. Epic battle ensues. Awesome.
“The Hinky Pink,” by Megan McDonald
One thing we all know about princesses is that they wear great clothes. Here’s a story about the heroines behind the frills. An ordinary steamstress defeats a tiny pinching hinky and has her happily ever after. Awesome.
“The Paper Bag Princess,” by Robert Munsch
In this timeless classic of princessly ingenuity, the heroine outwits a dragon in order to rescue her prince–who turns out to be a royal jerk. So she dumps him. Awesome.
Postscript: Robin McKinley
As a final note, I’d like to mention the novels of Robin McKinley. McKinley writes primarily novel-length adaptations of fairy tales, such as Beauty and the Beast and Sleeping Beauty. These are great for kids of all ages (or adults) to read or have read to them, and her princesses are all worthy of the title heroine.
Read all of these? Want more? Come in and talk to Miriam for more recommended reading.