From School Library Journal
Gr 2-3-Emma is no ordinary princess. She may be a member of her family's royal court, but she'd rather be riding dragons than looking pretty or learning how to have perfect posture. She even wants to talk her parents into letting her have a dragon as a pet for her birthday. Emma's unprincesslike maneuvers and knowledge of dragons might come in handy, though. All of the dragons in the kingdom are getting sick, and no one knows why. Can Emma figure out a way to save them? The characters are likable and entertaining, the humorous plot moves quickly and holds readers' interest, and the appealing cartoon illustrations add another dimension. Princess fans will not be disappointed by this early chapter book.-Kira Moody, Whitmore Library, Murray, UTα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Emma is “not your typical princess.” She doesn’t like pink, she is not competent at princessy activities like sleeping lightly, and she would rather play soccer than dance. But since she was born into a royal family, she is stuck with the system as it is, and tries to do her best at the Royal Princess Academy, where she is a first-year student. The book could have been divided into two; in the first half, Emma is competing in the All-School Princess Contest, and in the second half, she is investigating why the kingdom’s dragons are losing their sparkle and becoming ill. Rennert plays with several standard fairy-tale tropes, and while she doesn’t turn them on their heads, she does attempt to present a character who learns to value her talents. The book, with Florian’s fun cartoonlike black-and-white art throughout, is unlikely to appeal to readers not already invested in princess stories, but fans of the genre will enjoy Emma as she tackles (sometimes literally) royal behavior. Grades 1-3. --Kara Dean