Disney Princess: Tales of Courage and Kindness is a perfect collaborative story collection and an apt infusion of girl power. It marks the Ultimate Disney Princess Celebration while celebrating and inspiring children and adults from all walks of life.

This charming hardcover book comprises a deluxe collection of empowering, original short stories featuring the 12 classic Disney Princesses and two Frozen queens. It is a must-have for Disney Princess fans and collectors for many reasons, including the following.

Some of the stories are sequels to the classic Disney films

Most of the stories operate as sequels to the classic Disney films. Belle already lives in the castle with her Prince; Tiana operates her hard-earned restaurant, ‘Tiana’s Palace’; Rapunzel has escaped the tower and returned home to her castle. The authors do an excellent job of character consistency which makes for a welcome, streamlined transition from the classic films to these short stories with characters we already know and love. Character speech and behavior is conveyed in the same style fans would imagine the original characters performing it:

“‘Maybe I could do the cooking,’ [Fauna] suggested.

Merryweather sighed. ‘I think I just lost my appetite.’”

This is one example of the great writing found in this book. In this excerpt, the authors perfectly convey: (1) the familiar relationship between two of our favorite fairies from Sleeping Beauty, Fauna and Merryweather, (2) Merryweather’s sassy retorts, and (3) the fact that Fauna is not the best cook, which is an Easter Egg of sorts as it reminds fans of Fauna’s infamous birthday cake in the Sleeping Beauty film. I sincerely appreciated this clever fan service while also finding the stories funny, thoughtful and engaging.

Illustrator: Liam Brazier

Illustrator: Liam Brazier

Thoughtful, well-written short stories

Each story is approximately 12 pages long and showcases qualities, motivations and heroic moments of each of the Princesses when confronted with new situations. They begin with an introduction to each Princess, like the following for Pocahontas:

Pocahontas is part of the Powhatan tribe and daughter of the chief. She is a noble, free-spirited, and highly spiritual young woman, lovingly nicknamed “Little Mischief” by her father. She expressed wisdom beyond her years and offers kindness and guidance to those around her. She loves her homeland, adventure and nature.

What follows is a summary of the key attributes of each Princess. For example, Mulan’s summary looks like this:

        Mulan is…

  • Strong-willed
  • Courageous
  • Resourceful
  • Fearless
  • A team player
  • Thoughtful

Mulan’s dream: To bring honor to her family.

Heroic Moment: Saving the Emperor from the Huns

Sidekick: Mushu

Famous Quote: “My name is Mulan. I did it to save my father… it was the only way.”

Each short story ends with a thought-provoking question, like this one at the end of Merida’s story: “When have you helped someone in need?”

The structure, layout and content of this book has a lovely visual aesthetic – including vibrant colors and clear fonts – despite most of the pages being text-heavy. While it is aimed towards readers aged 5 to 8, some young readers may want a parent, older sibling or friend to help them read through the entirety of each story.

Beautiful, varied illustrations

The thought-provoking, inspirational text in this book is coupled with equally enchanting illustrations. Each story includes three all-new, unique illustrations, with the art style differing from Princess to Princess.

Illustrator Alina Chau

Illustrator Alina Chau

Different authors and illustrators for each story

One of the most exciting aspects of this collection is that each story is written and illustrated by a different team of artists. Contributions of 22 artists make up the entire collection, so not only do each of the stories showcase the experiences of 12 very different Princesses (and two queens), the writing and illustrating provide an even deeper dimension. This is evident in the different art styles included therein. I was so impressed with the art in this book, I would go so far as to say you would not be disappointed if you purchased it solely for the artwork.  

Tales of Courage and Kindness is a must-have for Disney Princess fans because the stories are an admirable, appropriate and transcending infusion of girl power. Each story sheds light on different experiences and influences of not only Disney Princesses, but of the artists that constructed them. This book is a perfect collaborative work that celebrates so much more than just Disney’s Princesses.

Disney Princess: Tales of Courage and Kindness was released on October 5, 2021.