Princess books for our modern-day princesses

The Secret Lives of PrincessesThough they slept through most of the Royal Wedding live coverage, my girls were riveted by the images they watched in the many recaps. And while I was also transfixed by the royal pageantry of it all, I also was quick to talk about some of the qualities I hope Princess Catherine will embody as a modern-day princess: strength, charity, kindness and a strong sense of self.

In other words, the same qualities I hope my girls will have. 

So, with the images of yesterday’s ceremony fresh in our minds, I’ve decided to round up some of my favorite Princess books that go far beyond kissing a frog or helplessly waiting for a man to make everything better. -Christina

My kids love reading about this crop of unique princesses like the Eco Princess and Princess Claire Voyant in The Secret Lives of Princesses. This book is an imaginative, often funny, and absolutely gorgeously illustrated introduction into the most unusual group of princesses ever.

Princess Bubble
A princess who doesn’t need a husband for happily ever after? I love the message behind Princess Bubble, as well as the sly sense of humor that makes this one fun for me to read aloud.
The Paper Bag Princess
The Paper Bag Princess is a modern mom classic–the perfect princess book for my girls who don’t need to brush their hair to feel pretty. This is one heroine you’ll want to hang on to for a long time.
Princess Knight
I adore the strength and cunning of wee Princess Violetta who earns the respect of her old-fashioned father in The Princess Knight. Yes, she gets her man in the end, but it’s not without a sweet twist.
Seven Wise Princesses
Looking for a different kind of princess book? The Seven Wise Princesses, A Medieval Persian Epic is for more advanced readers (or listeners who like to hear longer stories). It includes ten new-to-me stories translated from the Sufi Haft Paykar. What will stick with my girls are these stories that celebrate patience, perseverance, wisdom and love.
You can find all of the above titles at our affiliate Amazon


Senior Associate Editor Christina Refford loves homeschooling, running, cool kids’ music, and coffee. Not in that order.


  • Reply April 30, 2011

    Amelia Sprout

    The Princess Knight is my personal favorite princess book. I sort of want to be her when I grow up.

  • Reply April 30, 2011

    Emily Reed

    I was so pleased to come across this article. I run a Princess Party Entertainment company, featuring only original Princess characters. We believe that Princesses should embody all the characteristics that you hope your girls to have: kindness, strength, strong sense of self, and a charitable nature. We strive to share this message through our wonderfully unique Princess characters. I will be picking up all of these books (some I am already familiar with) to share with my fellow Princesses!

  • Love the Paperbag Princess! Have you read Princess Smartypants? Also a great one.

  • Reply October 22, 2011

    Carla O'Connor

    I know I’m a little late to the post, but also check out Zog. It’s a fantastic and fun read. My 4-year-old twin daughters favorite.

  • Reply July 26, 2013

    Mandy Lipchinsky

    My favorite brave princess book when I was a little girl was Marigold and the Dragon. My daughters love it when I read it to them.

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