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Princess Smartypants Paperback – April 14, 1997


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Lexile Measure: 450L (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Puffin (April 14, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0698115554
  • ISBN-13: 978-0698115552
  • Product Dimensions: 7.1 x 8.7 x 0.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #118,368 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In both text and art, Cole's characteristic wacky humor sparks this fable about a contemporary princess who "enjoyed being a Ms." and finds an ingenious method for retaining her single status. Ages 4-8.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 3 Princess Smartypants doesn't want to get married; she'd rather live with her pets. Commanded by her parents to find herself a husband, the Princess sets tasks for her horde of suitors. Prince Vertigo is commanded to rescue her from her crystal tower; Prince Grovel's quest is to take the Queen shopping; and so on. All of the potential husbands fail miserably as the gleeful Princess looks onuntil Prince Swashbuckle appears. He accomplishes all of the challenges with resourcefulness and a royal flourish, and is rewarded with a kiss from Her Highness. He's transformed into a gigantic warty toad. When word gets out, Princess Smartypants loses her appeal and so lives happily ever after. Truly comical watercolors in softly glowing colors complement this fairy tale parody perfectly. The Princess wears overalls; among her pets are goofy-looking dragons and other magical beasts. Clever details add to the fun; one of Prince Swashbuckle's medals features a tiny golden pig. Probably more fun for adults than children, this is still an appealing book for budding feminists. It presents a new slant on the traditional fairy tale princess in a light-handed, tongue-in-cheek manner. A refreshing alternative. Lucy Young Clem, Evansville-Vanderburgh County Public Library, Ind.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

A good, fun story.
CaligirlinMN
I didn't like that because he did all the things she said, and she didn't like it.
abyt42
In my opinion, not the best moral to teach young girls.
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

46 of 48 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 6, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you worry that exposing your children solely to Disney fairy tales will give them a warped view of the world, read them Princess Smartypants. It's funny, the pictures are fabulous, it's a great story and kids will love it. All the while they will learn a couple of positive messages. You should follow your heart regarding marriage and men who don't respect women should watch out. Princess Smartypants has an excellent life. She spends her days with her animals and is happy. Her only problem is she is plagued by suitors who only want to marry her for her wealth and beauty, but do not appreciate her for who she really is. She gives into pressure from her parents and agrees to hear out her suitors, but cleverly devises a plan to make them all go away. She challenges them to a fitness test which none of them can pass. She is quite happy until the last one comes along and passes all of her tests. He is cocky and overconfident and his tragic flaw is that he didn't think Princess Smartypants was so smart at all. So she kisses him and turns him into a toad. All the other princes run away and she lives happily ever after with her animals. My description may sound heavy, but the story is told with much wit and charm. My four year old loves the story, much more so than the Disney stories. I highly recommend this book for all parents of toddlers. I think it teaches young children that there are alternative routes to happiness, but it never takes itself too seriously.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 18, 1998
Format: Paperback
If the thought of giving the little girls in your life yet another iteration of the "princess in the tower waiting to be rescued" genre makes your blood run cold, Princess Smartypants will save you! Very funny, especially the princes' names - Prince Grovel, indeed! This book provides our culture with the boot in the pants that it needs. A must for every small woman who wants to "stay home with her pets and do exactly as she pleases"...
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By L. Erickson TOP 1000 REVIEWER on October 20, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'm mixed on this book. I love the idea of turning the princess/prince-charming theme on its head. Goodness knows our girls get inundated with it. But like others who read it, I actually didn't find this that amusing, partly because the 'tests' that Princess Smartypants subjects the prospective princes too are a little mean. In fact, the whole book has a little bit of 'mean girls' undertone that bugged me (and that's another theme our girls get plenty of.) That being said, I'm still reading it to my daughters if they ask, and I try and have a sense of humor about it when we read it, which takes the edge off. But I wish someone would do this theme in a way that focused more on empowerment and less on gender-divisiveness...
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23 of 27 people found the following review helpful By saliero on May 1, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This is a very funny book (well, it is the first few times you read it). Just love the illustrations which tell so much of the story, especially the chinless wonders who come a-courting.
Princess Smartypants DOES get to live happily ever after in this story, but not in the usual way.
My son loves it. I overheard him telling a friend the other day that "some people don't WANT to get married". That's OK, isn't it?
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 17, 1998
Format: Hardcover
For those who think children ought only to be fed with moralising stories that are straightforward, teach them a frozen "good" and "evil" and that men should act like Tarzan and that women should stay in the kitchen: never, never give your children a book by Babette Cole. Babette Cole's Books are controvesial, funny and witty. She knows how to use words and she knows how to use a paintbrush. Her characters don't tell the readers what to do, they just decide to do what they want. Princess Smartypants doesn't want to get married. So what? Just because she's a children's book character, she should get married? What if SHE decided what she wants to do? If she wants to get rid of all the annoying princes who want to marry her, she will. She may be right, she may be wrong, but she sure is funny. I read my first Babette Cole at nine (which is rather late for a Babette Cole book) and it was one of the first books that made me question the characters and understand that what is a story is not the truth. Babette Cole's characters don't want to look real. They don't care if they're real or not. They just want to be the way they want to be and be left alone. We don't have to judge them. And that's what Babette Cole's books are all about.
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26 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Bravado on January 20, 2006
Format: Paperback
Although the book is amusing, it's so hostile to the opposite sex, I don't want my daughters reading it. The princess is a spoiled brat that plays mean tricks on stupid men. What is that teaching my children?

Princess Knight by Cornelia Funke is a much more positive, upbeat book that gives young girls a message that they can be strong and independent with or without a husband. This book portrays men as arrogant and ignorant. I hope my girls grow up with a different idea in mind. I hope they see the good in both sexes instead of demeaning the value of men.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 23, 1998
Format: Paperback
In a culture that is continuously stressing the merits of marriage, Princess Smartypants is a unique find. The Princess is an active, independent and creative woman who does not have any desire to marry. In this book, she outwits her perspective suitors, using a variety of her many talents. Princess Smartypants is not anti-men, she just demonstates that there are different choices for girls (and princesses). I think this is a lively and original picture book that could be a valuable tool for discussions with children. It is also very funny, and has terrific illustrations. I recomend it for children age 5 or 6.
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