Book Details

Publisher: Penguin
Reading Age: 7+
Interest level: 5+
Pages: 32
Published: 1986

Princess Smartypants is rebellious, fiercely independent and perfectly happy to be single. Clad in dungarees and muddy wellies, she loves caring for her menagerie of unusual pets, including a selection of giant slugs, snails, spiders and dragons. Frustratingly, suitors are forever turning up to win her hand and she is under constant pressure from her parents to smarten up and settle down.

Although the princess has no intention of burdening herself with a husband, she attempts to appease them by agreeing to marry anyone who successfully completes a series of gruelling tasks. She asks Prince Rushforth to feed her pets, challenges Prince Pelvis to a roller-disco marathon, and invites Prince Vertigo to rescue her from the tower, but they all fail spectacularly. Content that she has seen off all potential husbands, Princess Smartypants is extremely irritated when Prince Swashbuckle arrives and successfully accomplishes each task with swagger. Has she finally met her match?

This hilarious picture book with its wonderfully subversive protagonist sends a strong message to young readers about the importance being in control of one’s own destiny. Vibrant watercolour illustrations are full of energy and contain a wealth of witty detail which children will adore.