#253 – The Princess and the Packet of Frozen Peas by Tony Wilson and Sue deGennaro

The Princess and the Packet of Frozen Peas 2012The Princess and the Packet of Frozen Peas

by Tony Wilson

Sue deGennaro, illustrator

Peachtree Publishers

5 Stars

Inside Jacket:  All the princesses who want to marry Prince Henrik are beautiful and sensitive. Too sensitive.  They complain about everything.  “If these are real princesses,” Henrik says, “I want to marry the opposite.”  Determined to find someone less delicate, the frustrated prince comes up with a new twist on a time-honored test.  Instead of a stack of mattresses and a single pea, his plan involves a camping mattress, an old sleeping bag, and a whole packet of frozen peas.  But it is not always easy to find the perfect princess, even when she’s right under your nose . . .

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“Once upon a time there was a prince called Henrik . . . yes, Prince Henrik; he was the athletic-type who liked camping, and field hockey.  His brother, Prince Hans, gives Prince Henrik advice  on choosing his princess.  “The most important thing is to make sure she is a real princess.”  By this, he meant she must be a complainer.  Oh, and beautiful and very sensitive, but complainer was at the top of his list.  Prince Hans has, uh, he had, a test that helped him find his princess.  He stacked twenty mattresses and twenty eiderdown quilts on top one single pea.  His wife, Princess Eva, complained about feeling that single pea through all twenty mattresses and each-and-every one of the twenty pfp 4eiderdown quilts.  That is indeed sensitive.

Princess Henrik thought Princess Eva a little too sensitive, which caused him to decide he did not want to marry a real princess.  He wanted the opposite.  She needed to like camping and hockey and have a nice smile.  Nothing more matter to the Prince.  Prince Henrik devised his own princess test.  Instead of all those mattresses and eiderdown quilts, he used a thin camping mattress and an old sleeping bag.  Instead of a single pea, he used a bag of frozen peas. Many prospective princesses spent the night, but by early morning, all were complaining about the lumpy bag of frozen peas.

Prince Henrik had a field hockey friend, a girl named Pippa, and the two spent the day playing a variety of athletic games.  They had always gotten along great doing all sorts of outdoorsy things.  That night, like all the other girls who spent the night, Pippa, slept on a thin camping mattress, in an old sleeping bag, atop a frozen bag of peas.  The next morning, Prince Henrik waited for Pippa . . ., waited . . ., and waited . . .

This is a humorous re-make of The Princess and the Pea.  I like the unconventional Prince Henrik.  He sends a wonderful message to little girls.  Beauty is fine,  but a great attitude is better.  Being compatible is better.  A great smile is better.  It is okay for girls to be athletic, to play hockey, and compete with others.  Princesses do not need to be frilly and dresses from head to toe in pink.  Sometimes tennis shoes, sportswear, and getting dirty are perfect . . . even to a Prince.

evaThe illustrations are “collage, gouache, and pencil”  art with perspectives that are often odd, such as Pippa’s  triangularly shaped head  and the page with Henrik laying in his proportionally strange bed.  There is rich detail in each spread.  Prince Henrik sleeps with his hockey trophies, the walls are lined with patterned wallpaper, and Princess Eva wears a duck on her head to play tennis—a reminder to duck?  I love the maid that keeps showing up to sweep the loose peas, after each girl has awakened.    The illustrations add to the quirky tale of the unconventional Prince who, I am positive, lived happier ever after than his brother Prince Hans (and his “real” princess, the complainer Eva).

Little girls will love this book because it is a story about a prince in search of a princess.  After reading it, I hope little girls, and big girls, love the story because Prince Henrik re-defines what it means to be a princess.  Boys will also like this book thanks to the athletic Prince Henrik and the silly, silly girls who could not sleep one night with a bag of frozen peas underneath them.  I really like the humorous The Princess and the Packet of Frozen Peas.  Mr. Wilson has taken an iconic tale and flipped it on its head, giving little girls a story they can dream about without losing their own identities.  Prince Henrik . . . I love you!

Story read by Atlanta Falcons Cheerleader Tiffany M click here

The Princess and the Packet of Frozen Peas

by Tony Wilson   website
Sue deGennaro, illustrator    website
Peachtree Publishers    website
Released on April 1, 2012
ISBN:  978-1-56145-635-2
32 pages
Ages 4 to 8

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Copyright © 2012 by Peachtree Publishers, used with permission
Text: copyright © 2009 by Tony Wilson
Illustrations: copyright © 2009 by Sue deGennaro

book donated to library courtesy of author & publisher

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36 thoughts on “#253 – The Princess and the Packet of Frozen Peas by Tony Wilson and Sue deGennaro

  1. I love the idea, and the illustrations are beautiful. I have a Princess and the Pea version by Lauren Child that is very beautiful but doesnt have the fantastic message that you have described. Definately putting this one on the to read list for Gigi. Thanks for the review and happy hopping. Cheers Julie

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    • Nice to see you again, Ms. Grasso. I remember only one version of Princess and the Pea, but then I don’t recall being read too many books when younger. The one I remember was acted out by Carol Burnett and was one of the funniest skits I’d ever seen. I thought for sure she was going to fall off of all those mattresses they had her on top of.

      There was only laughter for that version. No message at all and certainly not a wonderful message like the frozen packet of peas version, which is now the best version I have read, seen, or heard of.

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  2. I am so glad that there are more books about unconventional princesses/princes these days. It seems all the kindergarten girls want though is the Disney princess kind. But I like the message sent by books like this one.

    Stopping by from Kid Lit Blog Hop.

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    • Thanks for stopping by Heidi. It is nice to see you from the hop. I agree little girls all want to be the Disney 1950’s princess which puts too much emphasis on looks instead of brains and being your own self.

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  3. Uh, Sue, did you discover emoticons by any chance? lol How many different ones do you have there? 😆 Hmmm… this might be fun! I also love the message behind this book. We still live in a society where girls think they have to look or act a certain way to nab a man. How about, be who you are and then you’ll find your perfect match? I think I love Prince Henrik too. ::X: (not sure that code will work – delete if you have to or remove semi-colons!)

    Thanks for co-hosting with us on the Kid Lit Blog Hop! 🙂

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    • You mean did I discover them as in just now? No, I have known about those tiny creatures for some time now. It has only been recently that I learned the magic needed to have them bend at will. Still, there are others I can get in email but not on a website, such as the blue version. How many do I have for this site? Um, let me see. One, two, three, four, . . . twenty-one, twenty-two. So far I have twenty-two emoticons, as you cal them. I call then “smilies” (it is part of the incantation needed to have them appear at will).

      😀

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      • She’s very sensitive to textures and things being out of place. I don’t mean she’s spoilt, just that she’s very sensitive to changes in her environment generally! She’s only 6, but she’s a thoughtful little soul. Does that make more sense?

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  4. Hmm feels like I just hopped around 😉 Thanks for hosting, Sue! The duck on the head reminds me of Phineas and Ferb wearing turtles on their head as helmets when they go back in dinosaur time 🙂 Enjoy hopping!

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    • Cupcake I understand your position on peas. My dad used to call them “little green baseballs” to get my gullible brothers to eat them. I knew better. No thank you! 😯

      This is a funny, funny book, even with the peas. I think the maid agrees with your pea position — she had to clean up all the rolling peas when, I imagine, the frozen packet burst. You’ll love the ending. The new princesses to be found a use for the peas, one I can appreciate. 😀

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  5. Oh, I just love unconventional princes, and princesses that op out of the ‘frilly dress’ thing. Frilly dresses are so over rated. This book is right up my alley. Sounds wonderful, funny, and delightful.

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    • Well, well, well, (always wanted to use that over-worked phrase). Since I am back from dinner (see your last comment) I can tell you a secret. Do not let anyone else on this site know, okay? I am counting on you to keep it to yourself. There are four (4), more re-worked fairy tales to come. The Three Armadillies Tuff – The Gold Miner’s Daughter: A Melodramatic Fairy Tale – The Horned Toad Prince – Ol’ Bloo’s Boogie Woogie Band and Blues Ensenble. Shh! Tell no one. 😈

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