Peas Let Her Be a Princess
Diane E. Keyes, author
Once upon a castle bed, lay a maiden's dainty head...So begins this new twist on Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tale, The Princess and the Pea. The prince is in love with a beautiful red haired maiden. But is she a genuine princess? Can she pass the princess test? Will she feel the pea through the mattresses piled high? With the help of a friendly mouse and a faithful knight, can the prince be sure his love will wake? Leaving nothing to chance, this prince is willing to go to new heights for love! Rhyming text by Diane E. Keyes and whimsical illustrations by Hannah Mericle bring this classic fairy tale to life with hysterical and surprising results.
In a witty twist on “The Princess and the Pea,” first-time author Keyes introduces a foppish prince who plans to use “Ye Olde Princess Test” to determine whether the object of his affection is princess material. The test, naturally, involves placing a pea beneath her mattress: “if she wakes from lumpy bedding,/ it’s time to plan a royal wedding!” After a mouse steals the pea, and the prince’s knight companion pulls his sword, the rodent nervously suggests that the prince needs to use larger objects. Working in shades of olive and amber, newcomer Mericle makes the most of the physical comedy that follows as the prince places a hunk of cheese, a melon, a multi-tiered cake, and several animals under the mattress. The aggrieved princess finally wakes up, scoffs at the prince’s proposal, and leaves in search of comfier sleeping arrangements. Keyes’s rhymes carry the story swiftly forward while upending sexist fairy tale conventions—readers will finish the book knowing that lurking around people’s beds isn’t a great idea and suspecting that this prince won’t be tying the knot anytime soon. Ages 3–8. (BookLife)