Reading/Interest Level: Primary
Author: Nancy E. Krulik
Illustrator: Ben Balistreri
Publisher: Penguin Workshop
Princess Serena wants nothing more than to attend Knight School, but she’s stuck learning how to dance and drink tea at the Royal School of Ladylike Manners. When her latest escapades gets her expelled, her father finally agrees to consider knight training if she will complete a quest of kindness. Dubbing herself Princess Pulverizer, a name she sees capturing her personality, she sets out to complete her quest. Her first tries to help don’t go too well but when she hears of a Queen's stolen jewels she knows she’s found just the right task. Entering the Ogre’s lair, she quickly finds the jewels but getting out proves harder. Soon a hapless knight named Lucas and his dragon companion Dribble try to save her, but it quickly falls on the Princess to save them all and complete her first good dead.
Girl power takes center stage in this delightfully funny and refreshing intermediate reader. The characters are extremely engaging in this simple and direct text. The princess is enchanting and all the additional characters, including Dribble the grilled cheese making dragon, just add to the fun. The setting is direct and the plot is well paced perfect for the intended audience. Balistreri’s black and white illustrations are lively and add perfect touches of humor. The expressions on the princess’s face are particularly well drawn and give emotional strength to the text descriptions. Playful and fun this book with engage readers looking for a fun adventure with endearing characters.