Reading/Interest Level: Intermediate
Author: Christopher Healy
Illustrator: Todd Harris
Publisher: Walden Pond Press
It’s not easy being a Prince Charming, especially when the bards can’t get your story right and things don’t work out with your princess. In spite of being called “Prince Charming” by the bards, four princes have to leave their homes when the bards focus on the unheroic parts of their stories. Liam finds out that Sleeping Beauty is actually a cruel leader, Prince Frederic cannot impress Ella (Cinderella) because he’d rather dance than fight with a sword, Gustav has to be rescued by Rapunzel, and Duncan isn’t settling into married life with Snow White as well as he would like. The unpopular princes come together to save the bards and their kingdoms from trolls, bandits, dragons, and Rapunzel’s witch while becoming the kind of heroes that no one expected them to be.
The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom is a charming fractured fairy tale with a twist. Instead of being full of already perfect princes, these flawed characters show that everyone, even princes, can use some improvement. The unlikely friendship between the princes teaches about teamwork and playing to the strengths of the different members of a team. The book also has strong female characters either coming to the rescue or causing trouble for the team of princes. The humor is great for kids as well as for adults. This book is a fun tale of what happens when happily ever after doesn’t come when you expect it.