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The Princess and the Peas
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The Princess and the Peas

by Caryl Hart, Sarah Warburton (Illustrator)
Lily-Rose May will not eat her peas. Even when her father turns them into the most fabulous smoothies, shakes, or cupcakes, Lily can always tell they are there and turns her little nose up at them. Luckily, the doctor knows exactly what to do. He diagnoses an incurable case of princess-itus and sends Lily to live at the palace. Unfortunately for Lily-Rose May, the


Lily-Rose May will not eat her peas. Even when her father turns them into the most fabulous smoothies, shakes, or cupcakes, Lily can always tell they are there and turns her little nose up at them. Luckily, the doctor knows exactly what to do. He diagnoses an incurable case of princess-itus and sends Lily to live at the palace. Unfortunately for Lily-Rose May, the perfect food for a princess is . . . well . . . that would be telling!

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Warburton’s indefatigably sprightly and lovingly detailed illustrations help focus this grass-is-greener story. The premise is that a girl’s distaste for eating peas (as opposed to sleeping on them, as in the classic fairy tale) reveals her latent princess-ness, requiring her to leave her idyllic home and doting father to go live in a palace. Warburton (the Rumblewick’s Diary series) draws Lily-Rose May’s new regal abode as a rose-tinted fantasy, complete with carpeted staircase, suitably snooty servants, and separate rooms for dress-up and shoes. But peas start looking pretty good after the grind of royal life kicks in, with meals of cold cabbage stew and days devoted to “three hours of waving to please all your fans,/ and lessons in smiling, and shaking of hands.” British author Hart’s literal, maundering rhyming (“Lily-Rose May gave her daddy a cuddle./ ‘Oh, what shall I do? I’m in such a big muddle!/ I would so love to live at the palace—it’s true./ But I want to stay here, in the forest with you”) makes the story hard to track and may test readers’ patience. Ages 3–6. (Feb.)
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
"Lily-Rose May was a sweet little girlie;" begins the jolly rhyming tale of a "usually good" girl who disappoints her dad by refusing to eat peas. Using a recipe book, he tries concealing them and blending them, only to have Lily-Rose feel sick. The doctor diagnoses her problem as an allergy and decides that she must be a princess, based on the tale of the Princess and the Pea. Therefore, despite her wishes, it is decided that she must move to the palace. At first Lily-Rose enjoys it there, but when presented with cold cabbage stew for lunch and other unpleasant lessons, she decides to leave. She would rather learn to cope with those peas and be happy at home. The jacket/cover offers samples of the details Warburton loads into her scenes, including ornate calligraphy, peas and pea plants, and a young girl skipping apprehensively away from those peas. Green end pages are filled with recipes for peas. Sketchy cartoon vignettes, long, action-filled panels, full-page presentations of palace luxury, etc., hold the busy mixed media actions. The inside tale of the Princess and the Pea is told visually on elaborately framed pages and a contrasting muted palette. Happy Lily-Rose May manages to dip her peas "in ketchup or chocolate or cheese." "...and she NEVER goes back to the palace for tea." Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Children's Literature - Beverley Fahey
Lily-Rose May is a perfect child in every way. She is polite, takes care of her pet rabbit, keeps her room tidy and does not pick her nose. But the sweet little girl does not like to eat peas no matter how her patient and creative father attempts to disguise them. The doctor is called and his diagnosis is that Lily-Rose has princess-itis. Everyone who knows fairy tales knows princesses do not like peas. So Lily-Rose May is hurried off to the palace to live a life of ease. She gets to wear fancy dresses, has fabulous jewels and can do just about whatever she wishes. There is a down side to life as a princess. There are speeches to learn and lessons in waving that can be tiring. However, life is good. That is until lunch is served. When Lily-Rose sees the goopy cold cabbage stew she runs home in terror. Now she is a pea expert and her father still finds clever ways to serve the green delicacy. This whimsical, lyrical, cautionary tale told in rhyming couplets is to put it simply - delightful. Warm, detailed illustrations capture a hapless dad and his almost always perfect little girl. The pea green endpapers and the bowl of steaming peas on the title page are an inviting foreshadow of the merriment to come. The fairy tale, told within the story, and depicted in black and white with splashes of yellow is cleverly and seamlessly woven. Pair this with The Monster Who Ate My Peas by Danny Schnitzlein, (Peachtree, 2001) for an amusing lesson in nutrition for fussy eaters. Reviewer: Beverley Fahey
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 3—Lily-Rose May does her homework, cleans her room, and is agreeable to most anything, until… her father tries feeding her peas. She refuses, even after he makes recipe after recipe that incorporates them. The poor child simply cannot stomach peas. A doctor pronounces her allergic to them and relates the tale of a princess who awoke black and blue after sleeping on mattresses piled as high as the roof save for one pea underneath. Surely, Lily-Rose is a princess, declares the doctor, and she must move to the palace. It has all a young girl could wish for: clothes, toys, jewels, and, best of all, no peas. But will living at the castle be better than her home with her father? Mixed-media illustrations depict all the delights of a princess's palace, complete with pink limousine, but also the comforts of a simple home with family. Large illustrations are filled with small details that children will enjoy with each new reading. Pair this perfectly royal book for fussy eaters with similar princess tales for a majestic storytime.—Carol Connor, Cincinnati Public Schools, OH
Kirkus Reviews
Hart and Warburton serve forth another princess with far too many peas in her life. Just by the look of her, readers know Lily-Rose May is "a sweet little girlie; / her eyes were bright blue and her hair was so curly." She and her dad live in the woods: "She was kind and polite and was usually good." Then comes the day her dad tries to foist peas on her, and Lily-Rose May will have none of it. "Her hands were all sweaty. Her skin felt so crawly." She isn't faking; the peas really do make her sick, and then comes the doctor's diagnosis: Lily-Rose May is a princess. His prescription is for her to move to the castle. No peas there, thank goodness, but there is cold cabbage stew and all the demands of royalty that diminish the allure of the big house and nice clothes. Papa and his peas suddenly look very good. The story here is meager and mild to the point of vanishing: nothing syrupy, no hard yuks at anyone's expense. What keeps the book aloft, and it does hover nicely, especially for the front end of its age range, is the sheer musicality of the verse, which slips off the tongue as if it had been greased, and the merry artwork, which is buoyant and full of colors that rove between springlike and ribbon candy. A well-fashioned, if thinly sliced, tale of the well-traveled princess. (Picture book. 3-6)

Product Details

Candlewick Press
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
10.26(w) x 11.56(h) x 0.42(d)
AD560L (what's this?)
Age Range:
3 - 7 Years

Meet the Author

Caryl Hart is a full-time children’s writer who also runs creative workshops with local schools. Her first picture book, Don’t Dip Your Chips in Your Drink, Kate!, won two regional awards in England, and is short-listed for a third. She lives in England with her guitar-playing husband, two cheeky daughters, one extremely fluffy black cat, a goldfish, four hens, and a dog named Roo. As well as writing, Caryl Hart loves walking in the hills, swimming, snuggling, baking, weeding, running, sleeping, chatting, and sitting in cafés.

Sarah Warburton grew up in North Wales. She studied illustration at the University of the West of England, in Bristol, and hasn’t looked back since. She has created many books and illustrated the Rumblewick series, which has sold worldwide. Sarah Warburton lives in England with her husband, two children, and a grumpy guinea pig.

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