Series Review: Hamster Princess
Harriet Hamsterbone is no ordinary princess. The cover of the books in Ursula Vernon’s new series may be glittery pink and purple, but the heroine of the series, Princess Harriet, is hardly the sort of hamster to sit around in frilly dresses doing whatever boring things princesses are supposed to do. She likes adventuring, fighting and cliff-diving, much to her overprotective parents’ dismay.
Any other princess would probably be devastated to learn that she was under a curse that will take effect at the age of twelve. Not Harriet. She quickly realizes that the curse makes her invincible, at least until she turns twelve at which point she will fall into a Sleeping Beauty style sleep until she is rescued by the kiss of a prince. Harriet is hardly the sort of hamster to sit around waiting for the curse to do its thing. No way. She is going to take advantage of the invincibility while she still can. And hopefully figure out how to break the curse somewhere along the way.
The first installment of Hamster Princess is a hilarious take on Sleeping Beauty that will have readers laughing and cheering for Harriet as she takes on the wicked fairy godmouse who cursed her. Harriet is just the sort of heroine I want my daughter to know. She’s tough, a little bit snarky, and loves math. I couldn’t ask for a better role model than that.
I hope this series inspires a sense of adventure in young readers of all genders, and I expect it will also have them looking at traditional fairy tales and princess stories with a new perspective. It is certainly off to a good start: the first book in the series was included on this year’s Amelia Bloomer Project list. In book two, Harriet is no longer invincible, but she is still craving adventure. “Do you know how long it’s been since I fought an ogre?” she asks her faithful battle-quail Mumfrey at the outset of the story. Fortunately, she doesn’t have to wait long to find herself in the middle of another fairy tale quest that is just as hilarious and exciting as her first.
Harriet the Invincible by Ursula Vernon. 2015. 9780803739833. Gr. 3-6 (Sleeping Beauty)
Of Mice and Magic by Ursula Vernon. March 2016. 9780803739840 Gr. 3-6 (Twelve Dancing Princesses)
Ratpunzel by Ursula Vernon. October 2016. 9780803739857. Gr. 3-6 (Rapunzel)
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