Princess Harriett Hambone isn’t your typical princess, even for a hamster. She doesn’t like getting all dressed up and hanging around the palace. She dislikes her etiquette lessons. She doesn’t want to be sad or melancholy like other princesses. She loves ridiing her quail, Mumsey, and pretending to slay dragons.
Harriet’s parents can’t help but be a little overprotective. They know that their daughter is under the curse of the wicked fairy, Ratshade (listed third on Fairy-God Mouse Today’s Most Wicked List.)
Ratshade showed up uninvited to baby Harriet’s christening party and cast a spell. On her 12th birthday, Harriet will prick her finger on a hamster wheel and fall into a deep sleep. There are three conditions:
- Harriet will not need food or water while asleep.
- She will not need to use the bathroom.
- The kiss of a prince will wake her.
Harriet’s parents tell her about the spell on her tenth birthday. Harriet, being the optimist that she is, concludes that she now has two years to be invincible. She celebrates by jumping off the highest tower in the castle into the moat, knowing that nothing can happen to her until she turns twelve.
And so the next two years bring glorious adventures for Harriett and Mumsey as they go cliff diving, dragon jousting and hunting Ogrecats. She rescues ” helpless maidens from terrible dragons and helpless dragons from terrible princesses”. Harriet develops quite the reputation in the kingdom making it difficult for her parents to line up a prince to rescue her.
When the evil Ratshade shows up on Harriet’s twelth birthday, Harriet plans a counter attack with disastrous results. All 117 occupants of the palace are asleep, Harriet must find a way to reverse the spell.
Harriet the Invincible is the first book in a new series by Ursula Vernon of Dragonbreath fame. With its many cartoon pictures and large font, it makes an excellent early chapter book. There is enough sophisticated humor that upper elementary students will also enjoy this fairy tale parody. Boys too will also enjoy stories about the nonconformist princess. It has more pictures and fewer words than the Dragonbreath books.
The second book in this series Of Mice and Magic will be published on March 15.