As an absolutely OBSESSED Disney princess fan, I love to discover new stories about my favourite childhood heroines wherever I can find them – and this new series entitled Disney Princess Beginnings, is absolutely magical.
There are three books in this collection, and each front cover reads “Every princess has a story. Every story has a beginning.” This phrase is accurately fitting, as each story in turn features never-before-revealed tales of Cinderella, Ariel and Belle as children!
Have you ever wondered where Belle’s love of books started? Or what Ella’s life was like before her wicked stepmother arrived? Perhaps you never knew that Ariel had daring adventures with her sisters? All is revealed in these easy-to-read, chapter-by-chapter books that are filled with beautiful illustrations on almost every page.
My favourite of the three books is Cinderella’s tale, “Cinderella Takes The Stage” (by Tessa Roehl, illustrated by Adrienne Brown). It’s lovely to see a time where Ella enjoyed her young life living with her kind parents, and the book even gives some insight into how Ella came to have her own fairy godmother, and how Ella earned her nickname “Cinderella”. The main story is about Ella preparing herself to enter the village puppet show, but she didn’t always have the best sewing skills, so she teams up with a local young girl who lives on a farm, and they make a deal to help each other with the show. Oh, and there’s also puppy Bruno included in the illustrations – he is adorable!
“Belle’s Discovery” (by Tessa Roehl, illustrated by Jeff Thomas) is my second favourite of the trio. We could probably all guess that Belle didn’t have the most fun of times growing up as heavily implied by the opening number “Belle” in her movie, but what we didn’t know is where Belle’s love of books started, and whether she did indeed have friends at all. Belle has never been a girl to judge a book by its cover, so when she stumbles across a “haunted, abandoned bookshop”, Belle bravely enters and discovers it’s not so abandoned after all! It’s nice to see how Belle’s father was an inspiration to her in her young years, often encouraging her with words of wisdom.
“Ariel Makes Waves” (by Liz Marsham, illustrated by Jeff Thomas) is, while still a very good tale, my least favourite of the set. As someone who is a massive The Little Mermaid fan, I’ve watched both the TV series and the prequel Ariel’s Beginning, so I feel I already know a lot of Ariel’s story from her younger days, and to be honest, I think there is other princesses, such as Snow White, Jasmine or Aurora, who might’ve had more “fresher” tales to be told. However, that being said, I adore Ariel and her sisters, so it is lovely to read that they had an exciting adventure together which involved encounters with seagulls, dolphins, and a shipwreck! Oh, and we also find out that King Triton’s favourite food is kelp cake (it’s the silly little details like this that I love to find out!).
I was pleasantly surprised by how much heartfelt storytelling had gone into each individual tale. Belle learns that what makes people different, makes them special. Ella learns to give everyone a chance to be kind. Ariel learns that just because she’s the youngest of her sisters, it doesn’t mean her voice can’t be heard. I really hope that this series continues with other princesses getting a brand new tale of their own.
These books can easily be enjoyed by princess fans of all ages (I’m 23 and I thoroughly loved reading these new tales!), and the gorgeous full-colour illustrations are worth purchasing them alone. They have a great re-readable factor which will have you finding new details every time you flick through the pages, and are also perfect for reading alone or aloud at bedtime for those younger princesses among us. You can find this book collection at Disney Store now!
Have you read any of the Disney Princess Beginnings stories? Let me know what you thought of them in the comments!