The Princesses Have a Ball by Teresa Bateman, illustrated by Lynne Cravath (Albert Whitman & Company, $6.95)
It's a conventional tale: twelve princesses who disappear at night and show up every morning having worn their shoes to pieces. However, these (impressively diverse) sisters aren't particularly conventional...
Princess Academy by Shannon Hale (Bloomsbury, $7.95)
The prince is destined to choose his partner from Miri's village, so all the girls must learn how to be proper princesses. But one can learn other things at Princess Academy...
The Paper Bag Princess by Robert N. Munsch, illustrated by Michael Martchenko (Annick Press, $6.95)
Prince Robert thinks Princess Elizabeth should be a proper princess and dress impeccably. But when a dragon attacks, who goes off to rescue whom?
Dealing with Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede (Sandpiper, $6.99)
Anyone might run away from home to avoid an unwanted betrothal, but even the dragons agree that a proper princess would never run away and volunteer to work for a dragon...
My Princess Boy by Cheryl Kilodavis, illustrated by Suzanne DeSimone (Aladdin, $14.99)
And, finally, someone who does want to be a proper princess ... even if some people think he shouldn't. A triumph of the power of acceptance over bullying.
September 2011, Jennifer Sheffield