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The Princess and the Grilled Cheese Sandwich : A Librarian’s Perspective Review

Warning: I am going to GUSH over the illustrations in The Princess and the Grilled Cheese Sandwich. Debut author/illustrator Deya Muniz is a new favorite graphic novelist, and I’m excited to see what she creates next.

The Princess and the Grilled Cheese Sandwich is a MUST for middle and high school graphic novel fans. Absolutely stunning.

AUTHOR: Deya Muniz
ILLUSTRATOR: Deya Muniz
SERIES: no
PUBLISHER: Little, Brown Ink
PUBLICATION DATE: May 9, 2023
PAGES: 256
GENRE: graphic novel, romance
SETTING: Kingdom of Fromage
GIVE IT TO: Professional reviewers recommend Grades 7-12, and I agree with that

AWARDS AND KUDOS

  • Publishers Weekly starred

PUBLISHER’S SUMMARY OF THE PRINCESS AND THE GRILLED CHEESE SANDWICH

Lady Camembert wants to live life on her own terms, without marriage. Well, without marrying a man, that is. But the law of the land is that women cannot inherit.

So when her father passes away, she does the only thing she can: She disguises herself as a man and moves to the capital city of the Kingdom of Fromage to start over as Count Camembert.

But it’s hard to keep a low profile when the beautiful Princess Brie, with her fierce activism and great sense of fashion, catches her attention. Camembert can’t resist getting to know the princess, but as the two grow closer, will she able to keep her secret?

A romantic comedy about mistaken identity, true love, and lots of grilled cheese.

THE SHORT VERSION

LOVED this! The illustrations are among the best I’ve seen, and the story is super-cute, too. A must-buy for middle and high school libraries.

WHAT I LIKED ABOUT THE PRINCESS AND THE GRILLED CHEESE SANDWICH

The illustrations are incredible. I’ll talk more about them in a minute, but really, they are stunning. I cannot stop gushing over them. I even showed them to my husband and kids as I read. To the artistically-gifted Deya Muniz, please never stop illustrating graphic novels for teens!

The story is also adorable. We have Lady Camembert, who cannot inherit her father’s estate. On his death bed, her father tells Lady Camembert that she can dress as a man, move away for awhile, and still inherit his fortune. She agrees and moves to the Kingdom of Fromage.

As Count Camembert (“Cam” for short), she meets Princess Brie. I didn’t love Princess Brie like I loved Cam, but I do love her activism. A short and convincing romance between them ensues, but with a problem…Lady Brie thinks Cam is a man. How will Cam tell her she is a woman? And will telling the truth mean Cam cannot inherit her father’s estate?

The cheese puns are cute, too. There are many, as you’ve probably noticed from my review so far. I can see the cheese puns being too much for some readers, but I liked them. It gave the story a little extra something unique. And who doesn’t love cheese?

Don’t miss the author’s notes at the end. She shows the morphing of the character illustrations from webcomic to published graphic novel. I especially loved the story of the author and her own Princess Brie, complete with a photo at the end that matches the end of the story.

WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE

I loved the entire book. No complaints from me at all.

DIVERSITY

Cam and Brie and most other major characters are white. One friend has brown skin and dark curly hair. All major characters are females.

ARTWORK/ILLUSTRATIONS

Okay, here we go! Y’all, these illustrations are the BOMB.

We’ll start with the gorgeous dresses. Each character has her own color palatte. Cam’s clothing – both as male and female – is shades of blue and purple. Princess Brie’s dresses are pink. Female friends wear green, orange/yellow, and red. Just look at the illustration samples below and soak them in. Absolutely beautiful.

Facial expressions are realistic. I can feel Cam’s anguish over her problems with Brie. It’s easy to believe their romance and their joy and their pain.

All illustrations are full-color throughout The Princess and the Grilled Cheese Sandwich. Color palatte varies, but colors tend to be vibrant pastels and rich jewel tones. Pinks, purples, greens, and reds are used frequently.

Some illustration samples. You can click on each image to see it larger:

This is a Librarian's Perspective Review of The Princess and the Grilled Cheese Sandwich by Deya Muniz. This is a Librarian's Perspective Review of The Princess and the Grilled Cheese Sandwich by Deya Muniz. This is a Librarian's Perspective Review of The Princess and the Grilled Cheese Sandwich by Deya Muniz.

THEMES

  • traditional gender roles, women’s rights, gender equality, gender swapping, princesses, LGBT+, friendship, cheese, puns, wordplay, kingdoms

LIBRARIANS WILL WANT TO KNOW

Would adults like this book? Absolutely! This is among my favorite graphic novels of 2023.

Would I buy this for my high school library? 100% yes, no reservations.

Would I buy this for my middle school library? 100% yes, no reservations for Grades 7+.

Would I buy this for my elementary school library? No. It’s not an elementary book.

MATURE CONTENT

Language: It’s been a week since I finished this book. I don’t remember any profanity, and I don’t see any today on a quick look at the book.

Sexuality: some kissing at the end, admiration of people’s looks

Violence: none

Drugs/Alcohol: golden and pink liquids in wine goblets are consumed at parties

Other: none

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