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Princess: Based on Hans Christian Andersen's the Princess and the Pea

Princess: Based on Hans Christian Andersen's the Princess and the Pea

by Anne Wilsdorf, Hans Christian Andersen (Based On Work by)

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The author and illustrator of Philomene returns with a witty revision of Hans Christian Andersen's ``The Princess and the Pea.'' Shunning his mother's list of marriageable girls, an enterprising young prince brings home a shepherdess named Princess. His dubious mom tests the girl's bona fides with the old pea-under-the-mattress trick. Come morning, Princess is indeed black-and-blue, but not for the reason her delighted mother-in-law-to-be thinks: it turns out the girl simply fell out of bed during the night. The text, translated from the French, is jolly but unevenly paced, with perhaps too leisurely a buildup to Princess's entrance. The book's great charm lies in animated watercolors, with their Thurberesque ink lines. In typical Wilsdorf fashion, delectable details abound, from the endpapers dotted with canned peas to the palace pet (a cheerful winged gremlin), to a wee mouse reading a book in a castle cranny. A delightful romp. Ages 4-up. (May)
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
K-Gr 3-- In this augmented traditional tale, Prince Leopold's mother wants him to marry a real princess, so Leopold rides off to slay a monster and win a wife. But when he beheads the dreaded videopteryx, he finds a princess too busy watching television. He stuns the antiseptyx, but this princess has a cleaning obsession. Others, too, are equally inappropriate. Seeking shelter from the rain, the prince shares a shed with a shepherdess named Princess who suits him just fine. Back at the castle, Hans Christian Andersen's ``Princess and the Pea'' frame now comes into play. But here it is a fall from the pile of mattresses that logically gives the young woman all those bruises (rather than the pea placed at the bottom of the stack) and a wedding is arranged at once. Wilsdorf's bright watercolor and black-line cartoons heighten the playfulness of the story. Details such as Leopold's family dog with dragon wings, the expressions of the incredulous horse, and the humorously scary monsters invite readers to laugh. Pea-strewn endpapers help alert readers to the story's antecedent. This version doesn't belong on the shelf with ``Princess and the Pea'' versions illustrated by Paul Galdone or even Janet Stevens, but it can take its place alongside the ever-increasing number of titles such as Stephanie Calmenson's The Principal's New Clothes (Scholastic, 1989), Babette Cole's Princess Smartypants (Putnam, 1987), and others that fool with folktales. --Susan Hepler, Alexandria City Public Schools, VA
Lisa Napoli
Like many restless teenagers, Prince Leopold dreams of "adventure, travel, and love" and has a problem with an overbearing mother. The Queen lets Leopold go in search of a wife and, insisting that he can marry only a "certified genuine princess," sends him off with a list of candidates. Enthusiastically, the Prince gallops away in armor to battle the various monsters guarding princesses. Among others, he conquers a "ferocious antiseptyx," a three-headed "Narcissyx," and a "horrible videopteryx"--the respective guards of a princess who's too clean, a princess who's too vain, and a princess who watches too much television. Leopold finally meets an unassuming shepherdess (with no particular obsession), who happens to be named Princess and is looking for a shepherd to marry. He brings her to the castle, where the skeptical Queen applies the "pea" test, and Princess unknowingly and humorously convinces the Queen that she is a CGP. Wilsdorf's watercolor illustrations have a touch of wit that matches her text (though kids may not get the jokes). She evokes plenty of movement in the pictures, and her characters have expressive faces--the monsters are especially comical. A humorous "Princess and the Pea" story with a modern twist.

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Edition description:
1st ed
Product dimensions:
7.41(w) x 10.73(h) x 0.36(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

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