Favorite strong princess character? Talk amongst yourselves.

In the comments of my post on Mommytrack'd.com, in which I highlighted the Anti-Princess Reading List, Autumn pointed out that there are plenty of strong, admirable princesses to be found:

If you're like me, and part of you will always love princesses, but you hate how brainless most of them are, try The Enchanted Forest Chronicles. Princess Cimerone isn't your typical princess and she'll leave your kids laughing out loud!

My favorite princess is Nausicaa from the Miyazaki film Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind. I've already written about how much my kids and I love many of the Miyazaki films, but this one, in particular, is magnificent. Nausicaa is the bravest, most principled heroine I've seen in any animated feature.

I also came across a magnificent picture book by Cornelia Funke (author of the beautiful chapter books Dragon Rider and Inkheart), The Princess Knight. Princess Violetta kicks medieval butt. She's the perfect counterpoint to all the wilting lilies waiting to be rescued or married.

Who's your favorite princess?

[Aside: AJ of Thingamababy is brainstorming anti-princess slogans for a t-shirt for his daughter. Feel free to chime in.]

Tags: , , ,


  1. kirsten says

    i have to add my daughter’s (and mine) favorite: The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale – awesome tough princess tale, and a beautiful story!

  2. Chris Brogan... says

    I’m so happy you mentioned The Princess Night. My daughter’s name is Violette. So, with one little change of letter, there’s a great book about a strong female character, with HER as the star. : )

    It’s a wonderful book, and I encourage you to pick up a copy for the princess in your house, especially since this princess has more in common with Sarah Connor circa Terminator 2 than any other princesses you know.

  3. cw says

    oh, cornelia funke also has a hilarious strong girl story: pirate girl. great illustrations. great message. a favorite of my 6 year old.

  4. Parent Hacks Editor says

    cw, I just read your comment after having come downstairs from putting my daughter down to nap. Her naptime story was Pirate Girl! I got it for her as gift to celebrate the beginning of preschool. Another awesome story of girl-power; review coming soon.

  5. Lisa Roberts says

    I like Ella of Frell from Ella Enchanted. Although she must be obedient due to a careless fairy’s curse, she is principled, strong, and always thinks for herself, eventually breaking the role of obedient daughter.

  6. Lauren Snell says

    Princess Smartypants by Babette Cole is a wonderful softcover picture book about a girl who doesn’t want to get married. Very funny and fun.

  7. Tiny Coconut says

    Aw, some of your other commenters beat me to it: The Paper Bag Princes totally rocks, ahd I adored Princess Smartypants as well. My nine-year-old daughter still won’t let either book out of her collection, even if she is way past the princess phase.

  8. Eugene Seymore says

    My favorite princess is The Little Mermaid. A redhead — which is good, and she’s mute.

  9. kirsten says

    I wholeheartedly agree with the Paperbag Princess recommendations. For girls and boys. Great book.

  10. Chris Austin-Lane says

    There’s also two great women folk tales in “Mindful Parenting” by Kabat-Zinns, really much better than the rest of the book. And “Cinder Enda” – a much better version of Cinderella. For long books, Pipi Longstocking is pretty good. I agree on Miyazaki and the Enchanted Forest Chronicles – all of his movies and her books are loved by my daughter and me as well. Also, the movies “Matilda” and “A Little Princess” are both worth watching multiple times. And I’ve bought a number of “Strong Women Tales from Around the World” academic type books (e.g. not enough pictures) but they have some good stories. And Barefoot Books Princess Stories and Monster Stories. All good stuff.

  11. KP says

    the princess and the goblin. it’s kind of old fashioned, but a little bitty girl princess saves everyone by being smart, disobedient, and brave.