Mack, Todd. Princess Penelope Takes Charge. Illustrated by Julia Gran. Book Review.

Click here to buy Princess Penelope Takes Charge

Penelope has everything a child could ever want, except for baby sister. She’s delighted when she learns that her mother is pregnant. She fantasizes all the wonderful things she will do with her baby sister but, to her dismay, Mommy comes home with a little boy, Dexter. Her mother says he will be fun to play with but Penelope is repeatedly disappointed. The baby mostly sleeps and watches. Eventually, Penelope begins to help to care for her little brother and engages him in play. She reads to him and sings to him and finally realizes, “she has absolutely everything.”

This would be a perfect book to read to a child who is expecting his or her first sibling. It will help parents discuss what babies can do and how engaging with them requires patience and time. If the gender of the baby is unknown, it is important for the child to understand that the gender of the baby is unpredictable.

Julia Gran’s illustrations are simple cartoons that gives the story a sense of fun. The title was a poor choice and should have had a better connection to the story.


Bonnie Ferrante: Books For All Ages