Another great book featuring a butt kicking female character is Wild Robin by Susan Jeffers. this fairy tale is loose combination of my three all time favorite tales, Tam Lin, The Snow Queen and The Wild Swans. Robin was a wild boy and much to the annoyance of his older sister, Janet, he refused to do his share of the chores at their family farm. He runs away and falls in with the Queen of the Fairies and it’s up to Janet to save him.
The Paper Bag Princess is on my top ten list of favorite books of all time. Elizabeth is a typical princess in love with a prince named Ronald – unfortunately a dragon smashes her castle and carries off Prince Ronald leaving Elizabeth with nothing more than a paper bag. She puts on the paper bag and goes after the dragon to get Ronald back…only Ronald isn’t quite who she thought he was.
The Wild Swans is another hans Christian Andersen tale that I adore. It’s the story of a young princess and her eleven brothers who are cursed by their evil (of course) step mother. The boys are trapped in the bodies of swans by day returning to their human form at night. Their sister discovers the only way she can free them is to silently knit them all swears from stinging nettles. If she speaks, the spell will be fixed and they’ll be forever trapped as swans. Unfortunately, she gets tried as a witch and will not speak in her defense in order to protect her brothers.
Ah…Princess Smartypants. Princess Smartypants has no intention of getting married. Despite her dedication to remaining single, her mother lines up one prince after another, but Smartypants outwits them all in this delightful story.