Friends, my daughter and I have recently been crushing on a seemingly ridiculous series about a princess who is also a hamster. She rides a quail named Mumfrey and challenges those long held beliefs about what princesses can and cannot do. Loosely based on the age old fairy tale of Sleeping Beauty, Harriet (aka the hamster princess) discovers that the spell that will cast her into a deep sleep upon her 18th birthday also makes her invincible. She has to live to see 18 in order for the curse to work, so until that time the curse is protective. A wild child at heart, this delightful and adventurous hamster princess goes out into the world and does every crazy act her heart desires, including several often declared too dangerous or too unladylike for princesses. She’s awesome!
Penquin Young Readers was kind enough to offer a fun and huge giveaway for our readers! Given how much we enjoyed “Hamster Princess,” we are excited to be able to share an opportunity to win, not only “Hamster Princess,” but an entire Ursula Vernon collection!
The massive Ursula Vernon Prize Pack includes:
- the first two Hamster Princess books
- an advance copy of Ratpunzel
- a copy of Castle Hangnail
- and the first five books in the Danny Dragonbreath series
That’s a collection with a retail value of over $75!
Ursua Vernon’s books are geared towards kids ages 8-12. The stories are hilarious and contain lots of “comic book graphics” to enhance the story. Ladybug at age four uses the graphics to tell the story in her own voice, but is more than happy to spend some quality time on my lap listening to Harriet’s adventures.
She is still a bit young to grasp the parallels drawn between Harriet and some of her favorite fairy tales and she misses some of the humor. I’m excited to read them with her again in a couple years and even more excited to have her read them to me or to her siblings. These books are a fantastic fantasy adventure and perfect gifts for a young reader!
Here’s some more about Ursula Vernon and her books from the publisher:
Harriet Hamsterbone, aka Hamster Princess, garnered four starred reviews for her role as the heroine of Harriet the Invincible, a reimagining of Sleeping Beauty. Following the critical acclaim that greeted Harriet the Invincible upon release, the book appeared on numerous “Best of” year-end lists and earned several award nominations. Now, in Of Mice and Magic, Vernon brings readers another epic adventure full of laugh-out-loud escapades, this one a fresh take on the classic tale The Twelve Dancing Princesses.
It’s no wonder that Harriet is such a hit: she is most definitely not your average princess. She does not excel at traditional “princess arts,” such as needlepoint or looking ethereal, and she’s a terrible damsel in distress. She does the rescuing…when she’s not jousting, cliff-diving, or fighting ogrecats, that is!
These fractured fairy tales, with their unique graphic novel / chapter book hybrid format, are perfect for fans of Babymouse and Shannon Hale’s Princess in Black. And in a world full of Timmy Failures, Wimpy Kids, and Big Nates, Hamster Princess fills a gap in the genre with a feisty female protagonist that can hold her own.