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The Princess and the Pizza Paperback – August 1, 2003

4.5 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The latest of Mary Jane Auch's (Bantam of the Opera) fairy-tale parodies finds Paulina the Princess competing against her peers for the hand of Prince Drupert, the sorry-looking son of overbearing Queen Zelda. Paulina knows the old pea-in-the-mattress trick ("That's so once-upon-a-time," she scoffs to herself) and is unintimidated by the other two finalists, a princess with a very long braid and another princess accompanied by seven little men. But the kitchen assignment comes close to defeating her until, in despair, she whips up a mess of tomatoes, cheese and garlic on some bread dough, wowing Queen Zelda. In a gratifying final twist, Paulina rejects the prince and opens her own successful business a pizza parlor, of course. Readers will delight in the sly references to other fairy tales and in the goofy visuals (e.g., with a sardonic grin, a Rapunzel-like princess uses her very long braid to trip Paulina). The illustrations, representing the wife-and-husband team's first picture-book collaboration, resemble those in Mary Jane Auch's previous works they are just as witty yet considerably more detailed. This sassy send-up seems likely to deliver a royal case of the giggles. Ages 4-8.

Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 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, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 3
  • Lexile Measure: AD540L (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Holiday House; Reprint edition (August 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0823417980
  • ISBN-13: 978-0823417988
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 0.1 x 10.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #109,824 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This book is an absolute hoot to read aloud to students or to your own child. My students range from average to gifted, third through fifth grade, and EVERYONE of them loves this book. The characters are very easy to "voice". Students also love to read this book to themselves. The illustrations just add all that much more fun. I'm buying two copies, since the library wants it back!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought The Princess and the Pizza because the reviews recommended it for ages 4 to 8. I think t is too mature for most younger readers and would be best enjoyed by 3rd through 6th graders. As an adult, I enjoyed the story, but didn't like the ending. Also, Mary Jane is a clever writer, but I did not enjoy the illustrations of Herm Auch.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Bought this for my 5 year old granddaughter. Read it when it arrived,
to make sure it was ok for her. Ended up giving it to another
granddaughter who is 8, much more age appropriate. There is
a moral to the story, one the 8 year old understood right away.
Bought another book to give to the 5 year old, which she loves.
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Format: Hardcover
Poor Princess Paulina. Her father, the king, gave up his throne to become a wood-carver, and she's really missing all the perks of princessing. So when she hears that Queen Zelda, of Blom, is searching for a wife for her son, Prince Drubert, she dusts off her tiara and heads for the castle. Paulina has no trouble passing the pea and mattress test..."That's so once-upon-a-time", or the essay on "Why I Want to Have the Gracious and Exquisitely Beautiful Queen Zelda for My Mother-in-Law, or even the glass slipper test..."For Pete's sake, you never heard of sneakers?" But the final task, cooking a feast worthy of a prince, is a bit more daunting. Especially when the other two finalists, a young lady with an impossibly long braid that drags across the floor and a girl followed around by seven funny looking little men, grab all the ingredients. Paulina is left with only flour, yeast, water, tomatoes and a block of stale cheese..... Mary Jane and Herm Auch have authored a wry and hilarious fractured fairy tale, starring a sassy and confident heroine, that's full of familiar characters and clever scenes kids will recognize from stories of the past. Her witty text is entertaining and engaging, and begs to be read aloud. Mr Auch's bold, bright and expressive artwork complements the story beautifully, and is full of wonderfully eye-catching detail. Perfect for youngsters 4-8, The Princess And The Pizza is a modern fairy tale, complete with a surprise ending with a twist, that's sure to leave readers satisfied, and with a big smile on their faces.
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Format: Hardcover
The Princess and the Pizza by Mary Jane Auch is a delightful tale of a clever princess who uses her wits to solve her problems on her own without the help of fairy godmothers or seven strange little men. The colorful & whimsical illustrations by Herm Auch are the perfect backdrop for this fun story.
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Format: Paperback
My 5yo niece is still heavily into the princess phase, so I try to satisfy her hunger for all things royal by getting her "quirky" and "girl-positive" princess books. This book had great reviews, and since she loves pizza (just like her Aunt Nikki!), I thought this would be really fun for her. Turns out, it was the perfect gift! When we Skyped on Christmas morning, she told me that she made her mom read it to her the second they opened it. "It was really funny!" she exclaimed, which is big praise, in my opinion. My sister-in-law told me later that my niece had asked her to read it that night for her bedtime story as well. So glad I bought it!
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Format: Paperback
Princess Paulina has had her life turned upside down thanks to her father giving up his throne to be a wood carver. But she sees her chances to get back to princessing when a contest is announced to win Prince Drupert's hand in marriage. There are several rounds to the competition with Queen Zelda judging them. But when it comes to preparing a meal, Paulina is left with the worst ingredients. With her life on the line, can she create a winning dish?

This fractured fairytale is fun for those who know the originals. There are several nods to the classics that made me grin. I liked Paulina as a protagonist; her resourcefulness was pretty entertaining.

Unfortunately, most of the other characters came off as mean. It serves the story well, but it would be nice to have one other character we liked here.

Still, this is a book that kids and adults will certainly enjoy.
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Format: Paperback
What a fantastic book! It is original, clever, and funny. I like the plot, because although Princess Paulina misses parts of her life as a princess, she isn't bitter about no longer living in a castle and later tosses away the opportunity to be a princess again and enjoys life as a "commoner." I like the fact the drawings aren't of beautiful women, but more like caricatures.

My 8-year-old daughter gets all of the references to the other fairy tales and the accidental naming of "Pete's . . . ah" and enjoys the story. My 4-year-old daughter, who doesn't catch all of the amusing nuances, REALLY enjoys the story. It's been her favorite bedtime book to read every night for the past week, since we borrowed it from the library. It's like a Pixar animated film: the kids miss the adult humor, but everyone enjoys the movie.
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