I adore the Princess in Black series. It’s the perfect segue for kids from picture books into early chapter books, and it’s so impossibly fun that it’s an impossible series to put down. But what about those kids who have devoured the Princess in Black books and need something new to read? Well, these six books are the perfect next reads.
Princess Pulverizer: Grilled Cheese and Dragons, by Nancy Krulik
What happens if a princess doesn’t want to be a Capital “P” Princess? What happens if she wants to be a knight? Nancy Krulik’s fun chapter book series follows Serena, who—much like Princess Magnolia—aspires to more than the stereotypes of her position. But Serena’s king father doesn’t think she’s learned enough about valiant behavior, so he sends her on a Quest of Kindness. Can Princess Serena do enough good deeds to prove that she belongs in knight school?
Princeless: Volume 1, by Jeremy Whitley
This is one of my favorite comics of all time. Think of it as Princess in Black meets Lumberjanes. In this series, Adrienne is one of many princesses locked in her tower—until she decides enough is enough. With the help of her overly friendly dragon and a new blacksmith friend, she sets off to free all her sisters from their towers and into the lives they’re meant to lead. This series pokes fun at all of the stereotypes associated with princesses while crafting an impossibly fun fantasy world of its own.
Prince Not-So-Charming, by Roy L. Hinuss, illustrated by Matt Hunt
It’s not just princesses who don’t enjoy the stereotypes of their role. Princes don’t always have that much fun, either. Carlos Charles Charming doesn’t want to be another prince charming when he could be a court jester, telling jokes and juggling fire. But when a dragon is spotted in the woods, it’s up to Carlos to banish it.
Giants Beware!, by Jorge Aguirre and Rafael Rosado
We love a girl who battles monsters. Much like Princess Magnolia, Claudette tackles the beasts in her kingdom—except there aren’t that many. She wants to kill a giant, but her quiet village is no place for an aspiring giant slayer. The solution? Go on a secret quest with her best friend and brother to find and defeat a giant. This graphic novel is like Princess in Black meets Pixar’s Brave—a totally delightful adventure.
Acquicorn Cove, by Katie O’Neill
Princess Magnolia encourages thoughtfulness and kindness alongside her bravery and feist—so I imagine she’d love to read Katie O’Neill’s graphic novels. Her newest, Acquicorn Cove, follows Lana, who is returning to the strange island her aunt lives on for the first time since her mother passed away. When an acquicorn washes up on shore, she decides to take care of it—but it’s only the beginning of the magical world she’ll soon uncover. This lovely graphic novel tackles family and kindness alongside a message of environmental protection—I adore it.
Mia Mayhem Is a Superhero!, by Kara West and illustrated by Leeza Hernandez
The modern equivalent to a princess sneaking out to save her kingdom is a superhero sneaking out to save her neighborhood. Eight-year-old Mia Macarooney discovers that she is a superhero—but, much like Princess Magnolia, she can’t tell anybody. The PITS—or the Program for In-Training Superheroes—is an after-school program for superheroes. But can Mia balance her schoolwork and mastering her superpowers?