The funny and empowering tale of a determined princess who takes matters into her own hands when a dragon ravages her kingdom and her royal parents are too preoccupied with frills and sparkles to help. The kingdom is under attack from a dragon, and the king and queen have emptied the royal coffers to buy sparkly things for the princess. But Princess Susan doesn't want sparkly things! She wants to save the kingdom! So, with the help of an outspoken scullery maid and a loyal canine companion, she rolls up her sleeves and gets to work. As formidable as the dragon is, Princess Susan's most daunting challenge may be convincing her parents to pay attention to what she wants and actually listen to her.
Fortunately, the resourceful and entrepreneurial princess has a perfect (and delightfully unexpected) plan to ensure that everyone--even the dragon--lives happily ever after.
PreS-K--It is always delightful to find a children's story that shakes things up, encouraging laughter, bravery, and individuality. In a plot reminiscent of Robert Munsch's The Paper Bag Princess, Princess Susan's kingdom is under attack by a fierce dragon. Her parents spent all the treasury on sparkles and frills, for "a princess needs to look fancy," instead of armor. Hilariously, the military is armed with hedgehogs. Princess Susan, frustrated while speaking to her parents who simply gaze in handheld mirrors, gets a job to make money and befriends a scullery maid, Eleanor. Eleanor quickly becomes her right hand in saving the kingdom, for she has the capability of "Brave Truth Telling." They save the kingdom without fighting, instead using the sparkly dust Susan detests and creative problem-solving; Susan considers what the dragon wants, as well as the people. Sager Weinstein's story is a reminder that communication isn't easy, but it is worthwhile. Figueroa's art is lush and fierce. Diverse characters are realistic instead of fantastical or magical, and the art showcases the beauty of children who are allowed to be themselves. VERDICT This essential purchase smashes societal barriers erected against gender and is an enjoyable reminder to think outside the box.--Rachel Zuffa, Case H.S., Racine, WICopyright 2021 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.
When copper-haired Princess Susan's parents fill their daughter's room with "sparkles and pretty dresses" ("A princess needs frills," says the pink-skinned king. "They help her look fancy," agrees the brown-skinned queen), their decision leaves no funds to fight a flying, fiery dragon that is laying waste to the kingdom. Indeed, the townspeople's weaponry consists of "hedgehogs and drinking straws." So Princess Susan joins forces with a straight-talking white scullery maid named Eleanor, and using sparkles to temporarily blind the dragon, they bring it down. When the beast turns out to be both friendly (its puppy eyes are irresistible) and as entrepreneurial as the girls, the trio launches the Dragon Fire Network, a utility company powered by dragon breath. After selling "three thousand two hundred and ninety-four Dragon Fire Network subscriptions, plus ten one-week trials," as Princess Susan tells her parents, the kingdom's coffers refill, and the king and queen gain a new respect for their daughter's talents. In a tale that mixes business with heroics, Weinstein's (Lyric McKerrigan, Secret Librarian) text is full of determination, and Figueroa's (We Wait for the Sun) art has the compositional verve and plucky characterizations of classic Disney animation. Ages 4-7. (Nov.)Copyright 2021 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.