Black Princess

I have been privy to the development of Shades of Noir, in fact, I have basically grown up with it.  I remember having to go to Savile Row to pick up Professor Andrew Ramroop’s work for the first exhibition ‘Happening to be…’

I thought it would be a good idea if I too contributed, as the life and perspectives of a black girl growing up in the UK (I’m 10) could have some relevance to Shades of Noir readers.  I love reading, in fact, I have read all the books in my school library, and collect them too.  

I hope you find my review of books, which may change to other things depending on what happens in my life, honest and useful. 

So here we go…. I will start by saying these are my two favourite princess stories back when I was young.  I loved these books mainly because they were familiar stories but they had an edge.  I think I should say that over the years I now find princess stories unrealistic, and stereotypical.  I as a girl look for stories with female protagonists that are strong, intelligent and hard working, however, I still find some enjoyment from these two books.


The Princess and the Pea 

This story is written and illustrated by Rachel Isadora who is a well-known children’s book author, she has written over 150 books.  This book has bright, vibrant pictures that use a distinctive collage technique and is set in a beautiful place in Africa. I loved reading this story, it was fun quick and easy. The writing and language is easy to understand making it perfect for children aged between 3 -5 years.  The book uses terms that young children would understand but also keeps to the well-known characteristics of The Princess and the Pea. The story feels familiar but the illustration offers a narrative about a black princess making it quite special.


Beauty and the Beast 

This story is published by Jump at the Sun and illustrated by John Klutz.  The pictures and the writing are easy to understand and have a traditional feel to both. It was a good read warming my heart and also at certain points making your heart stop with anticipation. The narratives between the writing and the pictures work well, with both giving a fairly clear depiction of the story. The storytelling is helped by the author’s excellent use of interesting language.  The decision to have a Black princess has also helped the book to reach a wider variety of people who enjoy more cultural stories and or black protagonists. This book I would say is for children aged between 3-5 years.  The writing is of a good standard and will help your young ones to understand and develop language as well as expression. For more books like this (ordinary stories with a twist) go to


By Book Geek