THE PRINCESS RULES, by Philippa Gregory, Harper Collins Children’s Books, May 12, 2020, Paperback, $5.99 (ages 6-12)
The Princess Rules is a collection of three stories — Princess Florizella, Princess Florizella and the Wolves and Princess Florizella and the Giant — by Philippa Gregory.
Once upon a time, there was a king and queen who very much wanted to have a son. Instead, they had a daughter — Princess Florizella.
Florizella faced no major obstacles — curses, evil stepmothers, etc. — and her parents let her do as she liked. As a result, Florizella never learned the Princess Rules. Instead, she grew into a cheerful, noisy, bossy, happy girl who spent her mornings riding her horse and afternoons working with her parents in the royal office.
Florizella was friends with some princesses who had studied the Princess Rules. They even adhered to them — they had lovely clothes and manners — but their days were dreadfully boring. So Florizella decided to forge her own path, wherever it may take her.
The Princess Rules is a delightful tale that’s perfect readers who are moving on from books like The Princess in Black and Princess Cora and the Crocodile. The same snappy text, story twists and fun illustrations are here but in a format that’s more advanced.
My 6-year-old could probably read The Princess Rules on her own, but she would probably enjoy it more at this stage if we read it together. I’d have no problem handing it straight to a 7- or 8-year-old. Though the publisher’s suggested age range is 6-12, I think a more realistic cut off is 9 or 10 based solely on the simplicity of the subject matter.
The Princess Rules is a fun take on who we are expected to be versus who we really are. There’s a tongue-in-cheek quality to Greogory’s writing that propels the story forward and keeps a smile on your face. I’m excited to introduce it to my daughter in a few weeks.