Title: The Princess in Black Takes a Holiday (The Princess in Black #4)
Authors: Shannon & Dean Hale
Illustrator: LeUyen Pham
Publisher: Walker Books
Genre: Younger children’s fiction, humour
Book format: Paperback
Sweet Strawberries: Sweet StrawberrySweet StrawberrySweet Strawberry

Description: After battling monsters all night, a sleepy Princess in Black decides to go on a beach break.  But will a sea monster ruin a holiday for…The Princess in Black?

*Free copy provided by publisher for review….

Review:  I’m not sure why I haven’t enjoyed this book as much as others, but for some reason I just didn’t find it that fun. ‘The Princess in Black’ is a pocket sized book filled with thick glossy pages of text and illustrations. The story follows Princess Magnolia, who when battling monsters is secretly the Princess in Black. Battling so many monsters recently has left the Princess in need of sleep and a holiday seems like the perfect idea, but will she be able to get any sleep or will a monster disturb her there too?

The book is like many other funny books for kids, and has lots of funny illustrations which help with the story. It isn’t the first book in the series and although you can read this as a standalone, I do think it’s probably better to read the other books in the series first to get to know the characters. As many have pointed out already, the story is a good one for showing how girls don’t have to be all frilly and pink (as Princess Magnolia appears to be) but can be superheroes that battle monsters instead, which is exactly what Princess Magnolia does. It’s a good book for both that and the funny illustrations and story around the goats, but I just didn’t enjoy this as much as it seems others have.

The Princess in Black book page image one
©The Strawberry Post

There didn’t really feel like there is a story in the book, it felt as if there was no real point to the tale and I can’t help but wonder if I would have liked this book more if I had read others in the series first. Maybe I’m missing something but I just didn’t really feel any connection with Princess Magnolia or the Princess in Black, and although the overall story did play out, it didn’t really feel like anything much happened, I felt like I was expecting something more. I did find it a little funny although this was more to do with the side story of the goats and the eventual monster they face, but overall, the book just didn’t make me laugh, and usually kids books like this do.

The illustrations are good, and they show what’s happening in the story well. I like the expressions on everyone’s faces as well as the way the goats look throughout the tale. I also like the look of all of the monsters. The images are very colourful and fun and I think these made me like the book more than if there hadn’t been any.

The Princess in Black book page image two
©The Strawberry Post

Although others have really enjoyed this book I just couldn’t get into it which is a shame as I like books with girls being heroic like this. Despite this though I’d recommend trying the earlier books in the series first and if you enjoy those then you’ll probably enjoy this one too. It just wasn’t for me.

Read review of book 5 – The Princess in Black and the Mysterious Playdate by clicking here.

Read review of book 6 – The Princess in Black and the Science Fair Scare by clicking here.


Do you like this book?  What about other princess stories?  Let me know what you think in the comments below 🙂