The Little Pea

The Little Pea

by Eric Battut
     
 

A green pea plant grows in a garden. Inside one pod, a small green pea decides that he is not going to be like all the other peas; he is going to be different. His journey leads him to meet a beautiful peacock, a ferocious tiger, and a noisy elephant. Each of these animals inspires Little Pea and he takes something from each of them back to the garden—but will

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Overview

A green pea plant grows in a garden. Inside one pod, a small green pea decides that he is not going to be like all the other peas; he is going to be different. His journey leads him to meet a beautiful peacock, a ferocious tiger, and a noisy elephant. Each of these animals inspires Little Pea and he takes something from each of them back to the garden—but will the others accept Little Pea’s desire to be different?

Full of humor and optimism, this touching story of a little pea is at once an adventure story and a celebration of uniqueness. The simple illustrations reinforce the strength and poetry of Battut’s signature style. Ages: 4–8.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Meredith Kiger
Determined not to be just another "pea in a pod," little pea emerges from his pod in the garden and looks around his world for all the possibilities to be different. He encounters a peacock, in all its visual glory, and decides he wants to look as colorful. He attaches a stray feather from the peacock to himself and declares himself "handsome". He next encounters a tiger and admires his strength and beautiful fur. Little Pea paints stripes on himself and declares himself "strong." Along comes an elephant and scares away the tiger with his trumpeting trunk. Little Pea is impressed. He attaches a blade of grass to make a trunk and declares himself, "handsome, strong and big." When Little Pea returns to the garden the other peas make fun of his uniqueness, but Little Pea is proud of his being different. As a pea, he returns to the earth and a year later a whole crop of "happy and different kinds of little peas" emerge. Simple, colorful illustrations focus preschoolers' attention in this imaginary tale that reinforces the idea that it is OK to be different. The limited text could have been larger for those learning to identify letters and words. Reviewer: Meredith Kiger, Ph.D.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1—This story about wishing to stand out from the crowd has good intentions. A little pea, who is not happy to be like all the other peas in the garden, sets off to discover what he would like to be. He meets a peacock, a tiger, and an elephant. They impress him, and he wants to look like them. He attaches a giant peacock's feather to himself, paints himself with stripes, and makes a trunk from a blade of grass. When he goes back to the other peas, they laugh at him. Unperturbed, the pea digs himself a hole in the ground where he plants himself. In the spring, he has grown into the most amazing plant, where no two peas are alike, and each one is happy and different. Clearly, this book is intended to encourage children to stretch themselves as individuals, but the message is somewhat muddy. Is the pea trying to stand out in the crowd or is he simply unhappy about being a pea? And in the end, his longed-for change finally comes about when he actually does what he is meant to do—grow into a plant "like all the other seeds." The colorful pictures and simple text should appeal to children, but for a more cohesive story about being who you are, revisit David McKee's Elmer (McGraw-Hill, 1968) or even Munro Leaf's The Story of Ferdinand (Viking, 1936).—Kara Schaff Dean, Walpole Public Library, MA
Kirkus Reviews

A clean design featuring loads of white space surrounding bright spot illustrations makes this story of a little pea with big ambitions stand out.

Familiar storytelling elements, including a quest and a series of creatures met along the way, root the little pea's story in folklore. He is first shown in the pea plant along with his many fellow little peas; soon he strikes out on his own, attaching a peacock's feather to himself, painting on tiger stripes and fashioning a mini elephant's trunk out of a blade of grass. When he returns, the other peas laugh and tease, and he goes off again, this time with a greater degree of self-knowledge: " 'I am a funny seed,' he said to himself. 'But I am a seed in any case!' " He plants his adorned self in the ground, and a year later a veritable rainbow coalition of little peas sprouts from the plant he becomes. There are pink ones, blue, yellow, striped and plenty with little trunks, but no plain green ones. While the message that differences should be embraced is a bit obvious, the brief text and appropriately small, colorful illustrations keep things light.

Young children often have outsized ambitions; here is a tale of one little one who literally roots his dreams in the ground, with a beautiful result. (Picture book. 3-6)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781616084820
Publisher:
Sky Pony Press
Publication date:
09/01/2011
Pages:
24
Product dimensions:
8.80(w) x 10.60(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
4 - 5 Years

Meet the Author

Éric Battut is the author and illustrator of more than fifty books for children. After studying economics and civil rights for six years, he went on to study illustration at L’École Emile Cohl in Lyon. He lives in Chamalieres, France.

Éric Battut is the author and illustrator of more than fifty books for children. After studying economics and civil rights for six years, he went on to study illustration at L’École Emile Cohl in Lyon. He lives in Chamalieres, France.

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