Princess Emma doesn’t like pink and would rather kick a soccer ball than dance, and so beginneth the lessons.
She’s in her first year at the Royal Princess Academy, where her best friend is Rapunzel. Emma fears for her team in the All-School Princess Contest, which does start badly for her: Her chocolate volcano cake, while delicious, explodes all over everyone, and she doesn’t feel the rocks under her mattress. But Emma saves the day single-handedly when she is tasked to “create a happy ending” and rescues Rapunzel, Alex and Moriah from their various difficulties (Rapunzel, her hair newly cut, is trapped in a tower). What Emma really wants is to study dragons, which have been forbidden freedom of the kingdom because it is thought that they are dangerous for the environment. But when her class finally gets to visit the dragon caverns, she has another adventure and convinces the kingdom that letting the dragons roam free is better for both forest and waters. After a birthday surprise, Emma writes a letter to the princesses who will follow, reminding them that they can write “our OWN stories.” It’s all very affirming, and the illustrations are squiggly and cute, but it is awfully preachy.
As this begins a series, readers can be sure that Princess Emma, her cousin, Prince Ben, and the gnomes who train dragons and riders will be seen again. (Fantasy. 6-9)