Hamster Princess: charming, funny, subversive middle-grades illustrated fantasy about a totally ass-kicking hamster princess

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2017/12/06/thanks-michelle.html

When Princess Harriet Hamsterbone was born, her royal parents naturally didn’t invite the evil fairy, and so of course the evil fairy cursed her to prick herself on a hamster wheel on her twelfth birthday and die; and of course the three good fairies softened the curse – and that’s where things get really funny in Ursula Vernon’s 2015 middle-grades fantasy Hamster Princess: Harriet the Invincible, the first in a wildly successful series.


Ursula Vernon is one fantastic writer, and I highly recommend this series, especially for young ladies of independent thought :smiley:


Also check out her many and varied podcasts.
Hidden Almanac
Kevin and Ursula Eat Cheap
And most recently, Productivity Alchemy

1 Like

“Kevin and Ursula Eat Cheap” makes me worry about the couple’s health. Seriously, they chow down on some horrible dollar-store microwave / add boiled water stuff.

I highly recommend Vernon’s:

“Digger.” Long web comic (and book) about a lady wombat engineer who winds up involved with god-botherers, young demons, hyena people, and a prophecy snail.

Her occasional readings from and deconstruction of “Swiss Family Robinson” on Twitter.


Hmm - hope my kid isn’t too old for this. She’s an advanced reader for her age, but I may get her the first one to see what she thinks.

1 Like

Also consider the Dragonbreath series. Male protagonist, but my daughter loved them. The protagonist of the Hamster Princess series is 12, I believe. The protagonist of Dragonbreath is… 10-11, I think?


I wouldn’t worry too much about reading level, at least it never bothered me growing up. I had (if I’m recalling right) a 9th grade reading level in 4th grade and I was more than happy to read the 5th and 6th grade books.


I’d also recommend Ursula Vernon’s “Castle Hangnail”, which starts off as a comedic fantasy with a female protagonist that pokes fun at a lot of dark-foreboding-castle tropes - and towards the end sneaks in an antagonist that serves as a warning against kids who have “friends” who are in fact emotionally-manipulative, narcissist bullies. And still keeps the comedic fantasy tone going!


Ursula Vernon is fully awesome, as a person, as an artist, and as a writer. All hail! :slight_smile:


Wow, reading the comments here I’m sold. Adding to stack.


That blurb alone is an emotional roller-coaster.



Honestly, my wife and I were laughing continuously while reading this to each other. There’s lots of humour for both the under 10 and over 30 set.

The only down side I could see if my kids were the right age to read to would be the constant stream of “Daddy, why are you laughing?” comments every second page.

Hear, hear!

Also, books aimed at an older audience being published under the name of T. Kingfisher. Including one (that I’ve not read yet, must fix!) inspired by anger at NWN2. I believe the quote is “no, you’re doing paladins all wrong! Here, I’ll show you how it’s supposed to be done.”

There may or may not be a paladin chicken in said book.

1 Like

Never forget:


Ursula Vernon is a delight and a treasure and subbing to her (adult) blog is well worth your time.


My 8-year old daughter loves these books!

And the name of said book is???

She mentioned it in Ep 16 of Productivity Alchemy, but didn’t name it!

However, some sleuthing later, I’m pretty darned sure it’s Clockwork Boys, going by the publication date.

Don’t worry about the age levels. I’m probably old enough to be your mom, if not your grandmom, and I am definitely going to read this.

A good children’s book defies reading levels by having something in it for more than the target ages. The younger readers will take it at face value, older ones will catch the hidden humor.


Thanks. it sounds really interesting.