Today’s blogpost is by children’s book blogger Annabel Deuchar, on the success of the Rescue Princesses series.
Back in 2012, my five year old daughter discovered Rainbow Fairies. The interminable stream of Rachel and Kirsty’s chilly fairy rescue adventures saw me desperately hunting for a similar enough book that would catch her interest.
Paula Harrison’s The Rescue Princesses did the job perfectly. The colourful covers still appealed with their long-haired, wide-eyed girls in dresses. Acceptable themes were still present – princesses, animals. There was intrigue, big type and lots of pictures. But there was more.
The titular Rescue Princesses have gumption. Yes, they like animals, yes they are princesses, but they also climb trees, sneak out of royal dinners to try zip wires and make their own magic jewels. They are brave, kind and supportive of each other. They don’t limit themselves to being just Princesses – they endure their duties while thinking about the next adventure they’re planning with their friends.
The writing is fluid and engaging. There are short sentences, an extensive but accessible range of vocabulary and just the right amount of scene setting description.
I asked my daughter why she thinks girls like The Rescue Princesses books:
– It’s about a group of girls, and girls like being part of a group.
– They like animals, and loads of girls like animals.
– They can do cool things like create magic jewels.
– They aren’t just girlie, they get to do fun things like climbing, like boys do, and lots of girls like doing the same things as boys.
– They don’t have special powers like superheroes, but they can do special things like acrobatics.
– They are a bit naughty. Well, not naughty but they do things they’re not supposed to. They think for themselves? Yes, Mummy, they’re independent.
Would you like to be a Rescue Princess? I’m not sure, I don’t have any special skills. But the Rescue Princesses help new friends learn their skills, so you could too? Yes, that’s true, and I would get more confident. Yes, I think I might like to, Mummy, but I don’t want to be a princess. I want to be a writer.
Thank you, Annabel! You can find Annabel’s blog, where this piece was originally published, here – and if you haven’t yet discovered The Rescue Princesses, you can take a look inside the first book in the series, The Secret Promise, below.