The Princess in Black and the Hungry Bunny Horde by Shannon Hale
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
If you read the first two books with your kids and then were about to give up, do not do so! When I read the second book, about Princess Magnolia’s birthday, to my four-year-old twins I was disappointed. Just like the first one, the princess has someone snooping around as she runs off to fight monsters. Also, there was no payoff on the Goat Herd Boy wanting to become a super hero. Sure, this book series is for Kindergarten to Second-Graders, but it was just too repetitive.
But then I read this one and it really redeemed things by changing things up. This time we have bunnies rather than monsters and no one is at risk of discovering Princess Magnolia’s alter-ego. It also features more character development for the unicorn/horse – Frimplepants/Blacky. Finally, there are hints that the authors will eventually pay off the Goat Herd plotline.
Does it seems like I’m being overly critical or over-analyzing a book for little kids? It’s only because, as someone who’s been parenting for 8+ years now, I can easily say that most kids’ books SUCK SO HARD. There are a few gems here and there(Leave Me Alone!), especially the classics (like many Dr. Seuss books), but so many of them are so annoying – like watching kids’ cartoons. Yeah, I’m not the target audience in either case, but in both cases I end up being exposed to it by virtue of the kids being so young. So when I read the first Princess in Black book and got to experience some jokes that I enjoyed and great artwork, it was like a good Disney or Pixar movie – it appeals to both kids and adults. That left me with high expectations that I felt were dashed with the second book. However, as I said, this third entry really redeemed the series and I can’t wait to read the fourth one to the kids – especially since it clearly changes things up with The Princess going on vacation.
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