A friend recently asked me for book recommendations for her little girl who is into anything to do with princesses. I love compiling book lists, particularly by request, and this topic was a fun challenge for me.
My friend’s little girl is 5, so my recommendations are for girls between the ages of 4 and 12. (There are some really good novel versions of fairy tale re-tellings at the Young Adult/Teen level, but I am not including those in this list. Maybe in a future list.)
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Classic Fairy Tales
First of all, there are the obvious choices of classic fairy tales, not to mention all the Disney princess stories (most of which are at least loosely based on classic fairy tales). I especially like Usborne editions of fairy tale collections. They are well written and the illustrations are lovely.
- The Usborne Book of Fairy Tales
- Usborne Illustrated Hans Christian Andersen’s Fairy Tales
- Usborne Illustrated Stories of Princes and Princesses
- Usborne Illustrated Fairy Tales
Perfect for the emerging reader or young pre-readers who enjoy looking at pictures. Most of these have more books in the series.
- Angelina and the Princess by Katharine Holabird
- Do Princesses Wear Hiking Boots? by Carmela LaVigna Coyle
- Princess Joy’s Birthday Blessings by Jeanna Young and Jacqueline Johnson
- The Princess and the Three Knights by Karen Kingsbury
- The Very Fairy Princess by Julie Andrews and Emma Walton Hamilton
- Fancy Nancy by Jane O’Connor
- Princesses Are Not Quitters by Kate Lum
- Princess Grace by Mary Hoffman
- Emerson and Princess Peep by Valerie Tripp
- Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans
- The Princess in Black and the Perfect Princess Party by Shannon and Dean Hale
- Olivia and the Fairy Princesses by Ian Falconer
These are vintage stories that have stood the test of time. Not necessarily fairy tales but would probably appeal to the same little girls who enjoy princess stories. Great read-alouds!
- The Best-Loved Doll by Rebecca Caudill. (My sister Dori’s all-time favorite book when we were little girls.)
- Milly-Molly-Mandy Stories by Joyce Lankester Brisley
- The Surprise Doll by Morrell Gipson
- The Raggedy Ann 100th Anniversary Treasury by Johnny Gruelle
- The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes
- Twig by Elizabeth Orton Jones
- Philomena by Kate Seredy
- Flicka, Ricka, Dicka and the New Dotted Dresses by Maj Lindman
- Ozma of Oz by L. Frank Baum
- Betsy-Tacy by Maud Hart Lovelace
- “B” is for Betsy by Carolyn Haywood
- A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Great for independent reading or read-alouds. Recommended for middle grade girls ages 8-12.
- The Ordinary Princess by M. M. Kaye
- Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine
- Tuesdays at the Castle by Jessica Day George
- Princess Academy by Shannon Hale
- Snow & Rose by Emily Winfield Martin
- Samantha books from AmericanGirl. Other AmericanGirl characters might also be appealing but I chose to include Samantha because she lives with her rich grandmother and seems more “princess-y” to me than some of the others.
- The Royal Diaries series from Scholastic about real-life princesses and queens. I believe the print editions are out-of-print, but they are available on Kindle or used. There are more in the series than what I have listed.