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Books We Love: The Princess and the Pea

By Kay on Fri, Nov 14, 2008

Books We Love, General

Since we go to the library on an almost weekly basis and have probably checked out hundreds of books at this point, I thought it would be fun to start a category of small posts about the books we’ve enjoyed the most. So, here’s your first glimpse at one of our favorite books of late. I hope you enjoy and also share with us some of your favorites, too!

The Princess and the Pea, by Lauren Child

A bit about the book…
The Princess and the Pea has long been a favorite fairy tale of mine, so when I saw this title, I just had to check it out. When we got home to read it, I realized that, while based on Hans Christian Anderson’s original tale, it was a version written and illustrated by Lauren Child, the author and illustrator of Charlie and Lola, a book series and one of our favorite cartoons on the Disney Channel.

Lauren’s artwork is really fascinating because she uses a mixture of photographed and hand-sketched elements together to make a very unique look. The kids enjoy it because it’s a bit whimsical and her characters are so funny. The parents love it because of the depth and detail of each picture. You’ll catch yourself saying, “Oh my gosh. Look! It’s a teeninesy little bowl of peas on the kitchen table.” “Wow! Look at the detail on the chandelier” and on and on…

What we loved…
While Lauren keeps the basic story line the same, her embellishments on the plot and the dialogue that goes with it is quite unique. She makes an old fairy tale come to life again with fresh new verbiage that is just a bit towards the sarcastic side of funny. (Which means that the adults reading the book will laugh hysterically and want to keep reading – always a plus for bedtime material!)

Age appropriate…
While my 5 year old enjoyed the story (she is a connoisseur of princesses and books written about them), my 3 and 2 year old were done with the length of the dialogue by the 3rd page. I would say this is definitely a book geared for early elementary, a little too lengthy and verbose for the preschool set.

From the book…

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.

Check it out…
At the back of the book, Lauren devotes a few pages to explaining how exactly she and photographer, Polly Borland, created all of the artwork contained in the previous pages. My artist-daughter was fascinated by the process and gobbled up every detail.

Written by Kay Hesketh - Visit Website

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2 Comments For This Post

  1. Karen Says:

    I love this story!!! I brought it with us!!! My other fav is Sarah and the Freedom Quilt–ever read it? I read it first at A&M and have purchased my own copy at B&N! I LOVE when I find great books!!

  2. Kay Says:

    Are you talking about Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt? It sounds really familiar, but I’ll definitely have to check it out! thanks for the tip! I love being turned onto great books!

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Children’s Books We’ve Read

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