Publishers Weekly - Publishers Weekly"In this sassy send-up likely to deliver a royal case of the giggles," wrote PW, a princess competes against her peers for the hand of a prince and wins by whipping up a mess of tomatoes, cheese and garlic on some bread dough. Ages 4-8. (Sept.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Children's LiteraturePrincess Paulina misses princessing ever since her father decided to leave the castle to become a wood carver. When she hears the announcement that Queen Zelda is seeking a princess to marry her son, Paulina springs into action, cleaning her tiara and best ball gown. She is a bit disappointed to discover there is competition for the Prince. Paulina easily passes the old "pea hidden under twelve mattresses" test and other time-honored princess qualifiers. She is horrified to learn that the final round will involve preparing a meal for the Prince, using only the ingredients provided (Iron Chef meets the Brothers Grimm). Paulina is literally tripped up in her attempts to select ingredients, and is left only with flour, yeast, water, tomatoes and cheese. If you read the title, you can guess what comes next�as expected, Paulina becomes the queen of pizza and turns her back on castle life (however, stayed tuned, for the text ends with a small, humorous twist). What makes this book especially fun is that Paulina is no pristine heroine�as Queen Zelda says, she has a big mouth. The full-color illustrations are suitably wacky; for instance, Paulina stalks around in bare feet while sporting a diamond pendant and tiara. 2002, Holiday House, Judy Rowen
School Library Journal - School Library JournalK-Gr 2-When Princess Paulina's father surrenders his kingship, the enterprising young lady sets off for a neighboring castle to marry Prince Drupert. Vying with other princesses, she sails through the traditional pea test, stays in the running after the glass-slipper fitting, but faces real difficulty in the third trial. Competing against two other princesses, Paulina finds herself left with some flour, yeast, water, tomatoes, cheese, and the threat of a beheading if she can't concoct a tempting feast. In haste and trepidation, she tosses the fruits of her culinary labor onto the hearth and-voil -wins the everlasting admiration of the prince and the overbearing queen. Paulina, however, has other plans; she spurns marriage and opens the highly successful Pizza Palace. But the happy-ever-after ending has a hitch; Drupert's mother is a pizzeria regular and is last seen sharing a slice with Paulina's father. This fractured fairy tale has a thoroughly modern sensibility, from the retired monarch pursuing a second career in the arts to the feisty heroine who runs her own business. The story moves briskly along with plenty of tongue-in-cheek references to traditional tales, and the exaggerated features in the illustrations are reflected in the hyperbole of the text. In a clever bit of foreshadowing, Paulina's oft-repeated "for Pete's sake" becomes the etymological basis for the word pizza. One bothersome note: Paulina's diamond pendant disappears from the illustrations with distracting regularity. A silly take on kids' favorite takeout.-Carol Ann Wilson, Westfield Memorial Library, NJ Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus ReviewsThe Auch husband-and-wife team (I Was a Third-Grade Spy, 2001, etc.) successfully collaborate on their first picture book, a delightful fairy-tale hodgepodge with a wonderful message about happily-ever-after. In an unexpected career change, Princess Paulina's father moves the family out of the castle and takes up woodcarving. But Paulina misses the job of princess. So when she hears that Queen Zelda is searching for a true princess to marry her son, she dusts off her tiara and tucks some garlic into her bodice for good luck (along with some sweet-smelling herbs to cover up the stench). The 12 competing princesses must pass several tests, including such time-honored favorites as the pea-under-the-mattress trick and the trying-on of the glass slipper. Finally, only three remain for the cooking test. But by this time, Paulina's sassy comments have not made her the favorite of the Queen. Her competition leaves her with little in the way of ingredients, and Paulina's attempts at cooking make only a gloppy mess. In desperation, Paulina stirs the fireplace coals, throws the garlic on the conglomeration for good luck (along with some sweet-smelling herbs to cover up the stench), and begins to plan her escape. But lo and behold, her meal is the favorite, and she inadvertently christens it "pizza." However, in a move similar to Elizabeth's in Robert Munsch's Paper Bag Princess (1988), Paulina decides she doesn't want to marry Prince Drupert after all, especially if it means having Zelda for a mother-in-law. So she goes back to the village and opens The Pizza Palace, where Zelda and Drupert dine every Thursday. Herman Auch's brightly colored drawings add humor and detail to the story: Prince Drupert looks the part of royal drip, Queen Zelda fits the stereotype of grouchy mother-in-law, and Paulina's expressions are especially revealing. With its can-do heroine and its message of "marriage isn't everything," this will appeal to everyone-but should definitely be required reading for young girls. (Picture book. 4-8)
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