The Princess & the Packet of Frozen Peas

Overview

After tiring of the needs of overly demanding princesses, Prince Henrik devises a test to find a girl who's not so "sensitive," using a very thin mattress and an entire packet of frozen peas. His dream girl shows up unexpectedly in the form of his old friend Pippa, who is all too happy to pitch a tent or play a hard game of hockey, after which she finds the perfect use for that packet of peas! In this twist on the fairy tale, Tony Wilson and Sue DeGenarro deliver a freshly humorous take on one prince's search for...

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Overview

After tiring of the needs of overly demanding princesses, Prince Henrik devises a test to find a girl who's not so "sensitive," using a very thin mattress and an entire packet of frozen peas. His dream girl shows up unexpectedly in the form of his old friend Pippa, who is all too happy to pitch a tent or play a hard game of hockey, after which she finds the perfect use for that packet of peas! In this twist on the fairy tale, Tony Wilson and Sue DeGenarro deliver a freshly humorous take on one prince's search for the just-right girl of his dreams.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Prince Henrik yearns for a girl who likes hockey and camping, but his older brother, Hans, insists that only a “real” princess who’s “very beautiful and very sensitive” will do. Someone like Hans’s wife, Eva, who passed the pea-under-the-mattresses-test with flying colors, but whose sensitivity really amounts to being a self-important whiner. Will Henrik find true love with his own version of the test, which involves frozen peas and a sleeping bag? And will anyone be surprised that the winner is his old pal Pippa, who’s sporty but not posh and “has a lovely gap between her two front teeth”? This story has indie rom-com written all over it (think The Royal Tenenbaums). Whether children warm to the book’s laid-back vibe, Wilson’s reportorial prose and deGennaro’s hipster naïf sketches give this tale of unconventional princes and princesses an authenticity that not all stories in this mold possess. There are plenty of boys who would enjoy hanging out with gangly, always-game Pippa, and just as many girls who would be happy to emulate her. Ages 4–8. (Apr.)
Children's Literature - Beverley Fahey
Prince Henrik wants to marry a girl who likes camping and hockey and outdoor activities and has a great smile. His brother Hans told him that he found his real princess by having her sleep on a stack of mattresses and eiderdown quilts under which he placed one small pea. After observing his brother's overly sensitive and often demanding wife, Prince Henrik comes up with his own plan. He places one thin mattress on a camp cot, adds an old sleeping bag under which he places a packet of frozen peas. Most young ladies who come to stay complain about their poor sleep until Pippa arrives. She is just the outdoor kind of girl Henrik is hoping for and after her night's sleep in the guest room she emerges rested and happy. It seem as though the peas were the perfect ice pack for her aching shin. Henrik and Pippa marry and he is so happy with his unreal princess. This clever and witty take on the tale of The Princess and the Pea is delightfully humorous. The stylized illustrations created in collage, gouache, and pencils are filled with witty details. Touches of green and pea-like shapes in details like the trees add visual impact. Girls will cheer for the ordinary girl who captures the heart of a prince just by being herself. This is pure laugh-out-loud fun with the subtle message for strong, independent girls. Reviewer: Beverley Fahey
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3—Prince Henrik, a younger brother of the prince from "The Princess and the Pea," is looking for a bride. There's only one problem—though gaggles of flower-throwing girls pursue him, he has difficulty choosing "the one." Soliciting his older brother Hans's advice, he's told that the most important qualities in a "real princess" are beauty and sensitivity, as revealed by the old pea-under-the-mattress test. As he observes Hans's wife, he discovers that "sensitive" really means whiny and demanding and wisely decides that he doesn't wants a "real princess" but instead a girl with a nice smile who would share his interests. As his test, he uses a camping mattress, a sleeping bag, and a packet of frozen peas, getting rid of many bewildered girls. His quest concludes happily when his friend Pippa comes to stay and passes the test with flying colors. DeGennaro's sparely drawn cartoon characters delight with their expressiveness, perfectly complementing Wilson's snarky humor. It's hard not to laugh at the depiction of Hans's snidely sneering spouse "being sensitive about the tennis balls" when they are "too bouncy." Whimsical details are scattered throughout the book—the prince snoozing with field hockey trophies, his sleeping bag covered with "Zs," and, of course, green peas on nearly every page. A lighthearted modern take on the familiar fairy tale, this would be a welcome addition to most collections.—Yelena Alekseyeva-Popova, formerly at Chappaqua Library, NY
Kirkus Reviews
In this contemporary version of "The Princess and the Pea," Prince Henrik knows what he wants in a future bride and devises the right test to find her. Prince Henrik longs to "fall in love and get married," but his future bride must share his zeal for hockey and camping. Henrik's brother, Prince Hans, advises a "real princess" should be so sensitive she will complain about sleeping on a single pea placed under "a stack of twenty mattresses and twenty eiderdown quilts." Hans' wife, Princess Eva, passed this time-honored test, but when Henrik observes whiney Eva, he knows he wants the exact opposite. Eschewing stacks of mattresses, eiderdown quilts and the single pea, Henrik opts to test aspiring princesses with an old sleeping bag, a thin camping mattress and a packet of frozen peas. No girl tolerates sleeping on peas until Henrik's "outdoorsy" pal Pippa arrives. After a day of sports, Pippa sleeps "fantastically well," using the frozen peas as an ice pack for her sore shin. Relying on pattern, line and pale colors, the naively stylized pencil, gouache and collage illustrations subvert proportions and perspectives, adding to the whimsical tenor of this droll tale of a savvy prince who finds the perfect partner. A must for would-be princesses. (Picture book. 4-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781561456352
  • Publisher: Peachtree Publ
  • Publication date: 4/28/2012
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 245,125
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.60 (w) x 9.90 (h) x 0.30 (d)

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