cover image Princess Patty Meets Her Match

Princess Patty Meets Her Match

Charise Mericle Harper. Disney-Hyperion, $16.99 (48p) ISBN 978-1-4231-0804-7

“One Day Your Prince Will Come,” reads a large motivational painting in Princess Patty’s castle, but she’s tired of waiting. Heading out into the world with her “super-sparkly knapsack,” she encounters three blustery princes who insist she fall in line with their fairy-tale scenarios of rescue, only to reveal that they’re incapable of following through without Patty’s help (which encompasses everything from dragon-hunting tips to a gift of lip balm). The final prince she meets dispenses with any pretense—he insists Patty accept that he’s poor, cowardly, ordinary, and “terribly hungry” to boot. Bingo! Patty is smitten. The ostensible empowerment message, vivaciously girly cartooning, and what is by now standard-issue irreverence (“You princesses all look alike,” complains Patty’s Fairy Godmother, who also gets some life coaching from Patty) may be enough for some readers. But Harper (Go! Go! Go! Stop!) has replicated an all-too-familiar character type: her competent princess has little personality beyond being a whiz at helping goofy, schlubby boys become more fully realized people. Ages 3–5. Agent: Amy Rennert, Amy Rennert Agency. (Dec.)