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The Princess and the Pea Hardcover – April 2, 2006

43 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Starred Review. Kindergarten-Grade 5–Child has expanded Andersens tale from a one-page gem into a humorous picture book that will delight the whole family. Color photographs of a cleverly designed, three-dimensional miniature world of dolls reveal wonderful details. The mattresses–all 12 of them–are covered in multi-patterned cloth, tables and cupboards display real china plates, and a mirror reflects a princess sitting in her parlor. The prince says that he wanted to marry for love. In an aside, Child comments, He was just that kind of romantic boy. The prince now tells his parents: I would gladly marry tomorrow but…she must be more mesmerizing than the moon and I must find her more fascinating than all the stars in the sky. And there must be a certain…something about her. The loving king and queen throw a royal ball so that their son can meet all the eligible princesses; unfortunately, not one fills the bill. He then decides to travel far and wide to look for a real princess. It is not until he comes home that she appears at his door. We all know what happens then. Every library will want at least one copy of this fabulously funny and unique book.–Kirsten Cutler, Sonoma Library, CA
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From Booklist

K-Gr. 3. The dollhouse crafts and the play are as much fun as the wry storytelling in this exuberant fractured version of the familiar fairy tale. Child adds a little zip to the narrative ("You know what parents are like"), as the king and queen hunt for an appealing princess for their son. Unfortunately, they can't find one--until an adventurous, beautiful young woman takes a walk through the woods on a stormy night and takes shelter in the palace. She is a real beauty ("you know how it is with these fairy tale types"), and the queen tests her by having the servants make up the bed with one tiny green pea beneath 12 feather mattresses. Kids will appreciate both the independent princess and Polly Borland's photos of the child's skillfully crafted, three-dimensional backdrops (with cut-paper characters), which Child briefly talks about at the end of the book. Hazel Rochman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 and up
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten and up
  • Hardcover: 44 pages
  • Publisher: Disney-Hyperion (March 21, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786838868
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786838868
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 0.5 x 11.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #389,862 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Lauren Child is the multi-talented prize-winning creator of the characters Charlie and Lola, Clarice Bean and Hubert Horatio Bobton-Trent. She has won the Smarties Gold Award, Smarties Bronze Award, Kate Greenaway Medal and been shortlisted for the Children's Book of the Year at the British Book Awards. Lauren lives in London.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

47 of 48 people found the following review helpful By E. R. Bird HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on March 13, 2006
Format: Hardcover
As a children's librarian I'm ever watchful and ever on the alert for the next Caldecott contender. I like picture books with a bit of oomph and pizzaz to them. I like picture books that try to do something a little different. I like picture books, in short, like Lauren Child's, "The Princess and the Pea". I picked this puppy up with the full expectation of getting something along the lines of yet another Charlie and Lola adventure. Instead I was stunned by the fabulous art I found. From its cover (cleverly designed to look like the cut-away with the chandelier is actually a giant pea) to its final pages where the book describes the artistic process, "Princess" has everything you're looking for in a great picture book, but with enough artsy-fartsy cache to lure even the stodgiest of adults.

Once upon a time there was a king, a queen, and a prince. The prince was of the right age to marry and his parents wanted him to find a suitable mate. The prince agreed to this plan but he wanted to marry for love. This would have been fine except that though he met all the nearby princesses, none of them had "a certain ... something about her". So the prince searched high and low for someone to love but no one was quite right. At the same time that the prince was getting depressed about this, a beautiful girl who lived in a treetop house started following the moon to see whether or not it was just as beautiful above and beyond the mountain as it was in her home. Of course this meant that she became hopelessly lost, but fortunately she stumbled across the king and queen's castle. And if you happen to know your classic "Princess and the Pea" story then you know what happens next.
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By ReadNNH on May 27, 2006
Format: Hardcover
On a recent trip to the local bookstore, my daughter picked up this book, pulled me to a chair and instructed me to, "Read this please, Mama!" The cover art caught my attention, but the title... another retelling of the Princess and the Pea left me less enthusiastic. I began to read...

Each page brought another terrific and interesting illustration, and the text, well... it was fun, smart, funny. Before I knew it I was completely drawn into the story and having a ball. More than one adult shopper stopped to listen in, clearly enjoying themselves as well.

Also a first grade teacher, I soon found myself thinking of how I could use this book in class with my students. High praise for a book to want to take it to work and introduce it to a class full of youngsters.

I'll keep my review short, but suffice it to say, this book is a real winner! And the illustrations... oh, the illustrations! I'll admit that I also found myself thinking Caldecott Medal.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By S. Davenport on November 20, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I am stumbling over what great thing to list first. The incredibly vivid format? The gorgeous and unique blend of intricate dollhouse set creation and illustrations? The deft reinterpretation of what it means to be a REAL princess (as opposed to a cloying, vapid Disney princess), to say nothing of finding a life partner? The great vocabulary and lilt of the words as you read it? The joy of reading this story with a daughter or several little girls? Lauren Child makes this tale something totally magical but wonderfully grounded. Can't recommend it highly enough.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By KSL on August 23, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I orignally got this book because at my daughter's school a children's drama group came and did this play. We are big fans of Charlie and Lola so when I saw that Laura Child had written a book I knew this was the book for us. Each night my daughter chooses the 3 books we read each night and for the past 3 nights she has picked this book!

We love how this classic tale from Hans Christian Anderson has been updated. I like how the illustrations are not just illustrations but are actual paper dolls made by Lauren Child with her classic prints / designs she uses for her characters clothes and surroundings. The " set" for the book is actually a cereal box and the furniture and lighting are from actual doll houses. The page of the book explains how the book was done. We also like how the Princess has Raven Black hair and the story rolls off your tougue. It's just an absolutely well done story, enjoyable for both child and parent!
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By N. Farrell on May 5, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I got this book after searching for the Princess and the Pea story for my 2-yr-old, who is currently fascinated with our telling her that story orally at bedtime. This looked like a cool, artistic take on it. Sometimes I kick myself for buying books/picture books online for my kids without the chance to flip through it or preread it myself. I'll admit this book is, um, unique and clever--but it was not at all interesting to my young daughter and my guess is that it won't be until she's much older--say, at least 10. Two complaints from a parent's perspective--the faces, while certainly artistic, are pinched and angry looking on every page in an aloof and odd way and the last page describes in a snarky tone that real princesses don't eat peas. Great. As if it weren't hard enough to get kids to eat veggies. So, like I said, older kids/girls might like and the artistic adult crowd--but it was read/looked at once by my little girl and is collecting dust now. True test of a great book for kids is that they go back for more over and over for days! This one, not a hit.
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