My five-year-old daughter loves princesses. Elsa is her favourite (of course), but she’s happy playing, reading or doing anything to do with princesses. Rosie Banks’ Secret Princess series ticks all the boxes for my daughter, with princesses, magic, friendship and adventure being in every book.
Charlotte and Mia are best friends who are given magical necklaces that whisk them away to Wishing Star Palace, where they are told they are friendship princesses who can earn their tiaras by granting wishes. But the horrible Princess Poison gains her power from preventing wish granting, so getting their tiaras isn’t as easy as making a few wishes.
Each book has the pair trying to help a person grant a wish. There is often a lesson about friendship woven in, and the girls use both magic and their own smarts to outwit the evil Princess Poison.
My daughter loves this series. So much so that every time we go past a bookstore she hunts the shelf to see if there is a new one out. There are four main books out so far, and another Christmas special. My daughter’s face when she found the Christmas special was priceless – she jumped up and down, begging me to buy it. She’s never done that with any other book before so, of course, I bought it for her!
Unfortunately, she’s not at the reading level of being able to read these herself yet, so I’m reading them too. As an adult, the stories feel a little predictable, and Princess Poison seems to have no motivation behind her other than just being mean. I’d like a little backstory there. Why does she want to destroy Wishing Star Palace? How’d she get to be a Princess without anyone discovering she was psychotic before giving her her powers? Why did the other princesses not consider that with a name like “Poison” she was probably rotten in the first place?
Needless to say, these books aren’t at the top of my to-read pile, but my daughter and I have read every one of these books at least three times and I’m quite sure there will be plenty more re-reading to come. If these books are what make my daughter as excited about reading as I am, then I don’t care if the characterisation could be improved – I’ll re-read them with her until she stops asking me to.
REVIEWER: JJ McConnachie
TITLE: Secret Princesses
AUTHOR(S): Rosie Banks
RRP: $14.99 each