My favorite books to read (to children)

Julia Staff Image

The introduction of “chapter books” is an exciting, if sometimes intimidating experience for children. It’s a new format, with more content, and a bigger vocabulary! As a babysitter that relishes reading with kids as the path to early literacy, I’ve found that there are certain characteristics that are guaranteed to make a kid laugh, even in the foreign territory of chapter books: funny names are one of them.

 The Princess in Black Series loves to monopolize on this, with characters like Princess Magnolia’s fearless steed, “Frimplepants”, friends from neighboring kingdoms like “Princess Sneezewart” and “Duchess Wigtower”, and the signature battle moves like the “Sparkle Slam” and the “Princess Pounce”.

 Also as a bonus, the jam-packed action of the Princess in Black Series is just downright entertaining, for children and adults. The princess breaks norms by wearing a color that any 5 year old will attest is “not a girl color” and has very un-ladylike skills on the battle field. She is admired for her ninja-skills by the local goat herder Duff, whose flock she is often saving from monsters.

 The Princess in Black, Book 1: DB 80353

 Princess Magnolia lives a double life, and when Duchess Wigtower pops in for tea, she almost discovers Magnolia’s carefully guarded secret— she is really the monster-fighting Princess in Black. For grades K-3 and older readers. 2014.

 The Princess in Black and the Perfect Princess Party, Book 2: DB 83235

 When her birthday party guests begin to arrive, the monster alarm alerts Princess Magnolia—aka the Princess in Black—to impending danger in the village. But her secret identity remains at risk, as the monsters keep interrupting the festivities. Sequel to the Princess in Black (DB 80353). For grades K-3. 2015.

 Books 3-4: The Princess in Black and the Hungry Bunny Horde, and The Princess in Black Takes a Vacation: DB 86673

 In The Princess in Black and the Hungry Bunny Horde, Princess Magnolia is alerted to a swarm of ravenous bunnies from Monster Land. In The Princess in Black Takes a Vacation, a much-needed break from battling monsters is interrupted by a sea creature. For grades K-3 and older readers. 2016.