This story starts out as a typical anti-princess tale, with wild Pulverizer wreaking havoc and demanding to be a knight. Things start to shift a little when her father, the king, points out that being a knight isn't all fun and games either. If Princess Pulverizer wants to be a knight, she's going to have to learn just as much as she would if she was going to be a proper lady. She'll also have to learn to be a nicer person, less selfish, demanding, and greedy. In fact, before she can even start learning to be a knight she must do eight Good Deeds!
Doing good deeds isn't as easy as it seems, and Pulverizer is soon in trouble. But with the help of an always-scared knight-in-training, his pet dragon (he's really gassy but he makes great grilled cheese) and Pulverizer's own determination, she just might manage to get started on her good deeds.
Balistrieri's cheerful cartoons show a red-headed wild child with plenty of pep and vim, but also a fair helping of ego. Pulverizer smashes her way through life, landing in puddings, getting trapped by stinky giants, and attacking dragons with little thought for the mayhem that surrounds her. Asides from a couple villagers in the background, all the characters are white. There's lots of gruesome and icky detail, with warty giants, disgusting slop, and plenty of farting and belching jokes.
Verdict: This is a little different from the average "tomboy princess wants to be a knight" beginning chapter. It's clear that Pulverizer doesn't think about anyone but herself, even if she's starting to learn that she might need friends by the end of the book. It's funny, but much more gross than Princess in Black. Hand this one to fans of Dragonslayers Academy or Time Warp Trio.
ISBN: 9780515158328; Published 2018 by Penguin Workshop; Review copy provided by publisher