Books for Kids
I first started writing books for kids almost by accident, as comics led to illustrated books. Under the name Ursula Vernon, I’ve published 19 books, including the Dragonbreath series and the Hamster Princess series. But I still had more stories to tell, some of them weird and quirky, and wound up writing them as T. Kingfisher as well.
Dragonbreath and Hamster Princess are solidly middle grade, whereas books written as T. Kingfisher may be better for a somewhat older audience.
“…this quirky, charming, and funny fantasy explores what happens when a girl who was never considered ‘strong’ — including by herself — is forced to be the one to save the day” – A Mighty Girl.Com
Winner of the Locus Award for Young Adult Book 2021
Winner of the Nebula Andre Norton Award 2021
Winner of the Mythopoeic Award for Children’s Literature 2021
Winner of the Lodestar Award for Young Adults 2021
Winner of the Dragon Award for Young Adult/Middle Grade Book 2021
Fourteen-year-old Mona isn’t like the wizards charged with defending the city. She can’t control lightning or speak to water. Her familiar is a sourdough starter and her magic only works on bread. She has a comfortable life in her aunt’s bakery making gingerbread men dance.
But Mona’s life is turned upside down when she finds a dead body on the bakery floor. An assassin is stalking the streets of Mona’s city, preying on magic folk, and it appears that Mona is his next target. And in an embattled city suddenly bereft of wizards, the assassin may be the least of Mona’s worries…
A boy. An armadillo. An epic adventure.
Nominee for the Lodestar Award for Young Adults 2020
Oliver was a very minor mage. His familiar reminded him of this several times a day.
He only knew three spells, and one of them was to control his allergy to armadillo dander. His attempts to summon elementals resulted in nosebleeds, and there is nothing more embarrassing than having your elemental leave the circle to get you a tissue, pat you comfortingly, and then disappear in a puff of magic. The armadillo had about wet himself laughing.
He was a very minor mage.
Unfortunately, he was all they had.
“…this seemingly slight story is much heftier than it first appears.” — Locus
Nominee for the BFSA Young Adult 2023
Rosa Mandolini knows in her heart that her family are the greatest painters of magical illuminations in the city. But the eccentric Studio Mandolini has fallen on hard times and the future is no longer certain. While trying to help her family, Rosa discovers a strange magical box protected by a painted crow. But when she finds a way to open the box, she accidentally releases the Scarling, a vicious monster determined to destroy the Mandolini family at any cost.
With the aid of her former best friend and a painted crow named Payne, it’s up to Rosa to stop the Scarling before it unmakes the magical paintings that keep the city running, and hopefully save her family in the process!
“An appealing protagonist, lots of action, clever, witty writing, witchcraft and evildoers who get nothing but what they deserve—what’s not to love?” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review
Winner of the Mythopoeic Award for Children’s Literature 2017
When Molly shows up on Castle Hangnail’s doorstep to fill the vacancy for a wicked witch, the castle’s minions are understandably dubious. After all, she is twelve years old, barely five feet tall, and quite polite. (The minions are used to tall, demanding evil sorceresses with razor-sharp cheekbones.) But the castle desperately needs a master or else the Board of Magic will decommission it, leaving all the minions without the home they love. So when Molly assures them she is quite wicked indeed (So wicked! REALLY wicked!) and begins completing the tasks required by the Board of Magic for approval, everyone feels hopeful. Unfortunately, it turns out that Molly has quite a few secrets, including the biggest one of all: that she isn’t who she says she is.
This quirky, richly illustrated novel is filled with humor, magic, and an unforgettable all-star cast of castle characters.
“It’s Wes Craven meets L. Frank Baum, or Narnia for those of us who thought Narnia smiled without showing enough of its teeth.” ~KB Spangler, Digital Divide
Nominated for the Lodestar Award for Young Adults 2018
When the witch Baba Yaga walks her house into the backyard, eleven-year-old Summer enters into a bargain for her heart’s desire. Her search will take her to the strange, surreal world of Orcus, where birds talk, women change their shape, and frogs sometimes grow on trees. But underneath the whimsy of Orcus lies a persistent darkness, and Summer finds herself hunted by the monstrous Houndbreaker, who serves the distant, mysterious Queen-in-Chains…
From the Hugo and Nebula award winning author of “Digger” and “Jackalope Wives” comes a story of adventure, betrayal, and heart’s desire. T. Kingfisher weaves together a story of darkness, whimsy, hope and growing things, for all the adults still looking for a door to someplace else.
Hamster Princess Series
Harriet Hamsterbone is not your typical princess. She finds the royal life rather . . . dull. One day, though, Harriet’s parents tell her of the curse placed on her at birth, dooming her to prick her finger on a hamster wheel when she’s twelve and fall into a deep sleep. For Harriet, this is most wonderful news: It means she’s invincible until she’s twelve! After all, no good curse goes to waste. And so begins a grand life of adventure with her trusty riding quail, Mumfrey…until her twelfth birthday arrives and the curse manifests in a most unexpected way.
Perfect for fans of Babymouse, this laugh-out-loud comic hybrid series will turn everything you thought you knew about princesses on its head.Amazon Barnes and Noble