These books about princesses can inspire kids to learn more about their faith and living with virtue.
Calling someone “a princess” might sound like an insult today, but it used to mean something beautiful. When it comes to our kids, I’m all about embracing the older meaning.
The quintessential example is A Little Princess, the beloved children’s classic by Frances Hodgson Burnett. The heroine, Sara Crewe, tries to “act like a princess,” and receives the nickname “Princess Sara.”
For Sara Crewe, acting like a princess is nothing but a good thing. It means being as generous as she can be, even if all she has to give is a smile and a kind word. It means being unfailingly kind and polite, even if the other person is being nasty. And it means rising above other people’s petty and vindictive behavior to be “the bigger person” who forgives, turns the other cheek, and acts like a true Christian.
So it can be a beautiful thing if your child is into princesses, and there are so many ways that a princess can be a great role model.
One book, A Catholic Field Guide to Fairy Tale Princesses: Modern Virtues in Tales as Old as Time, can be a good resource for drawing character-building themes out of the princess stories your kids love. When I read to my kids, I like to ask them, “How did someone in this story show virtue?” This book can be a helpful guide for those conversations.
But it’s not just pretend princesses who show virtue. It turns out some of the best princess role models are actually among the canonized saints! Their holiness is a real example to all of us, and their princess role can make them even more interesting to your kids.
If your child is into princesses, here are some books that will be perfect for them. These books about princesses (or girls who act like princesses) can inspire kids to learn more about their faith and living with virtue.
1Catholic Princess Saint Stories
This new book tells the stories of 3 real-life princesses who became Catholic saints known for their kind service to others and joyful love of God. It’s a perfect gift for a princess-loving little girl!
2Roses in the Snow: A Tale of Saint Elizabeth of Hungary
Elizabeth loves to hear her grandmother’s stories, and none is more dear to her than the story of her namesake: St. Elizabeth of Hungary. Together the two recall the holiness and charity of this great saint while preparing to celebrate her feast day.
3Little Gold Star: A Spanish American Cinderella Tale
This retelling of the classic Cinderella story features a lovely Catholic twist: The “fairy godmother” is the Blessed Virgin Mary!
4The Queen and the Cats: A Story of Saint Helena
Queen Helena has brought the greatest of gifts to the people of Cyprus. But when she tries to present the treasure, the Queen discovers that the local churches are infested with a deadly problem. It’s up to Queen Helena and a little village girl to come up with a solution that will make the churches safe once more.
5A Little Princess
Of course, I had to include this one! Sara Crewe is such a lovely example of a “princess role model.”
As a hefty chapter book, though, this one is best for older readers. Also, the book includes some upsetting content (such as the deaths of Sara’s parents) and a handful of problematic comments, so you may wish to skip over those brief passages if you are reading aloud or discuss these passages with your child if they read it independently.