Princess in Training Review
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I’ve been told that some people have calm, laid-back children—kids who don’t, say, scale walls or run faster than an Olympic champion. But I am not one of those people. My little princess is more like the active little girl in Princess in Training, a colorful picture book by author Tammi Sauer and illustrator Joe Berger.

Princess in Training tells the story of Viola Louise Hassenfeffer, a lively little princess who just doesn’t fit in. Unlike the usual prim and proper princess, she prefers diving and skateboarding and karate-chopping. When she’s invited to Madame Gertrude’s special camp for princesses, she’s determined to learn to act like a real princess—but, no matter how hard she tries, she just can’t seem to behave with the same poise and charm that other little girls do. It isn’t until disaster strikes the camp that she (and those around her) finally understand that her differences are what make her special.

With its vibrant, comic book-style illustrations and its lovable main character, Princess in Training is the perfect picture book for spirited little girls. It isn’t the same old fairy tale: a story about a quiet little damsel in distress who’s rescued by a handsome prince and goes on to live happily ever after. It’s the story of a free spirit who has her own unique way of doing things—and who can save herself, thank you very much.

Young readers will love the action-packed pictures. Each page is colorful and fun, and each illustration is drawn with movement, sound, and loads of personality. The story, meanwhile, teaches little girls that it’s possible to like wearing pretty, frilly dresses and to like skateboarding and karate, too. In fact, not only is it just okay to be different, but it’s actually something to be admired and appreciated.

At the same time, though, this lovable little tale also serves as an important reminder to the worn-out parents of these busy little girls—that our spirited little princesses will one day grow into strong young women who will be able to stand up for themselves and take on any challenge. And while it may sometimes be exhausting to raise a skateboarding, high-diving, wall-scaling princess, it also adds a little bit of “Zip! Zup! Zoom!” to our everyday lives.

Princess in Training isn’t just a cute book for little girls who like princesses; it’s a bright, vibrant lesson in being smart and strong and different. And that makes it a story that active little girls and their parents can enjoy together.

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