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School Library Journal
Cech's fluid text sparkles in this well-crafted retelling. He fleshes out the character of the prince with a refreshing addition in which the young man tells the Queen, "I didn't need a pea to tell me she is a real princess. I could see it in the gentleness of her eyes, hear it in the softness of her voice, and feel it in the kindness of her heart." The illustrations, created with colored pencils, pastels, and acrylics, glow with lustrous yellow-gold, blue, and green tones. The court clothing is portrayed in splendid detail, and bold foregrounds dominate the pictures. In one lovely spread, the prince, dressed in blue knee breeches and a doublet trimmed with green ribbon, is lying on a couch; the Queen, wearing a lace-decorated yellow gown, is gazing at him from the background; behind her are the muted figures of dancing couples. An interesting historical note informs readers that similar story elements have appeared in tales from Sweden, Italy, and Kashmir. Children will enjoy this delightful rendition of an old favorite. For readers who prefer a more playful and humorous approach, suggest Lauren Child's fabulous version (Hyperion, 2006).
—Kirsten CutlerCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.