Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Princess Knight - A Gender Non-Conforming Picture Book That I Love

By Cornelia Funke, illustrated by Kerstin Meyer

King Wilfred the Worthy has three sons, and a daughter, Violetta.

But since her mother died when she was born, the King decides to raise his daughter just like he's raising his sons - and he's raising them to be Knights.

Violetta's not as big or strong as her brothers, so she soon figures out her own way to fight and joust and ride her horse.

When she turns 16, the King announces there will be a big tournament in her honor with a gigantic prize. She's thinking which suit of armor she'll wear when he tells her that the prize is HER!

The best knight in the kingdom will win Violetta's hand in marriage.

Violetta knows there's only one thing she can do... Disguise herself as a man, enter the competition, and win the title of Best Knight in the Kingdom herself!

Oh, how I love this picture book, and how I wish it had been read to me when I was a kid. You can be sure I read it to my daughter.

The writing is awesome, the illustrations are fairy-tale worthy, and overall it's a wonderful kick-tushie tale of a girl knight.

Add your review of "The Princess Knight" in comments!


Martha Brockenbrough said...

I haven't read this one yet, but I love Cornelia Funke. Will check it out--thanks for the review!

fourth Musketeer said...

I'm glad you picked this one up! I also love Princess Pigsty. I'm a strange one since I love princess books but I also love the ones that make fun of princess stories. I saw in the BEA news that Cornelia Funke has a new book coming out this year...we'll have to watch for that one.

Sarah Stevenson said...

This sounds SO COOL! I would've loved that story as a kid.

Mary Ann Dames - Reading, Writing, and Recipes said...

I'm putting this on the list of "must reads." Strong female characters in picture books are so important. For fun I did a quick search of the Los Angeles library for children's princess picture books prior to 1960. Not that I can tell a lot from the summaries but it looks as if the stories were mostly fairy tales with the godmother providing protection or else the princess is being rescued by a prince or a commoner who turns out to be a wonderful person in spite of his background. So, yes, I wish there had been stronger female characters when I was growing up.