The Princess and the Pea

The Princess and the Pea

2.8 6
by Hans Christian Andersen, Dorothee Duntze

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Andersen's classic fairy tale of the princess who felt the lump under her matress. Full-color illustrations.


Andersen's classic fairy tale of the princess who felt the lump under her matress. Full-color illustrations.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Intricate patterns and dreamy pastel hues mark Duntze's luxuriant ilustrations for this classic tale. Ages 3-6. (May)
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3 This story of a princess chosen for her feelings rather than her beauty de serves retelling, and Bell's translation is smooth and fast-moving. All the charac ters in Tharlet's gentle gray and mauve pictures, even the ``old'' King and Queen, appear to be children in 18th-Century fan cy dress. Round-headed and with sharply- drawn cartoon faces, their short stature is exaggerated by the interesting, rafter-lev el perspective. The soft watercolors are particularly suitable for a story about re fined sensibility, as they create both the misty air and the comfortably elegant manor and furnishings of a small northern kingdom. Only the incongruity between the silly comic faces and the romantic set tings is disconcerting. Patricia Dooley, formerly at Drexel University, Philadel phia
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
The classic fairy tale is retold simply and traditionally. A prince who wants to marry only a real princess travels all over, but finds something wrong with every princess he meets. Back at home one night during a terrible storm, there is a knock at the door. A wet, bedraggled young girl is there, claiming to be a princess and seeking shelter. To test her, the Queen puts a pea on the guest room bed and has twenty mattresses and twenty quilts placed on top. There the Princess spends the night. When she complains the next morning that she could not sleep because of something hard in her bed, everyone knows that she is a sensitive real princess. The prince takes her as his bride. Detailed double-page scenes set in some Renaissance make-believe time make this a worthy addition to the many other versions. Painted in naturalistic watercolors, the illustrations project humor as the many characters arrange the test bed. Dusikova adds a small young jester to every scene just for fun. At the wedding, he carries the pea on a puffy pillow. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Kirkus Reviews
This unadorned translation of Andersen's whimsical tale comes from a German edition of 2007. The pictures are pellucid: Readers see the prince coming home laden with paintings of various princesses who do not fit the bill. They see why on the next page: One princess is sticking out her tongue, and another is picking her nose, and so on. The king and queen are playing chess on that dark and stormy night when there is a knock at the door, and it is the king himself who trundles down the castle stairs, candle and key in hand, to let in a very damp and bedraggled princess. It is the queen who places a single pea on the bedframe and orders the 20 mattresses and 20 quilts to be laid atop it. Our heroine wakes to complain that she barely slept and is "black and blue all over!" The prince knows then he has found a real princess, and a wedding ensues. It ends with the puckish (and traditional) lines: "The pea was put in a museum, where it may still be seen. And that is a true story." Dusíková's pictures are full of soft edges and soft colors, with pretty architectural details and an assortment of castle denizens, including a pair of cats and a toddler in jester's motley. A rendering to bring a smile or possibly a giggle. (Picture book/fairy tale. 5-8)

Product Details

North-South Books, Inc.
Publication date:
Tell Me a Story Series
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
9.20(w) x 12.30(h) x 0.10(d)
AD580L (what's this?)
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Virginia Andersen (Coronado, CA) is a freelance author and writer who has written or contributed to nearly 25 books about PC-based applications, including many student tutorials and accompanying instructor manuals with exercise disks. Virginia is certified as a Microsoft Access MOUS Expert. She has over 25 years experience in computer science applications, analysis, and engineering - including extensive technical writing and editing. Her government and defense projects include lunar mapping, reliability engineering, undersea surveillance, weapon system interface simulation, and naval communications. Her civilian projects include computerized project management and horse race handicapping. She holds a M.S. in Systems Management, University of Southern California, an M.S. in Computer Science, University of Southern California and a B.S. Mathematics, Stanford University.

Dorothee Duntze was born in Reims, France. She studied art at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Reims and the Ecole des Arts Decoratifs in Strasbourg. Among the other books she has illustrated for North-South are The Emperor's New Clothes, The Princess and the Pea, and Hansel and Gretel.

Hans Christian Andersen (1805-1875) was born in Odense, Denmark to a poor family. He left home as a 14-year-old to seek his fortune at the theatre in Copenhagen. Andersen began writing plays and poetry before he left for Copenhagen, but it was not until 1835 that he published the first of the fairytales that would bring him international renown. Since then, his over 200 fairytales have enjoyed undiminished popularity, providing the basis for favorite American interpretations such as Disney's The Little Mermaid.

Brief Biography

Date of Birth:
April 2, 1805
Date of Death:
August 4, 1875
Place of Birth:
Odense, Denmark
Place of Death:
Copenhagen, Denmark

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Princess and the Pea 2.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
good old ' fairy tales ' from my childhood enriched as they were retold, embellished & given to a new generation. too bad sorcerers of the e-readers don't grok to old concept of storytelling vs 1st person, emotionless words.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Paid .99 cents and it wasn't even worth it! Do not buy as a book for a tablet!
MominChicago More than 1 year ago
The B&N review is inaccurate - there are no bunnies here. The story is traditional and the illustrations highly stylized. The illustrations are as you see on the cover here. My daughter was 6 when she received the book and loved it, though the illustration is probably best appreciated by kids at least that age.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My sister loves this great book 10 year old 4year old
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very good