In this contemporary version of "The Princess and the Pea," Prince Henrik knows what he wants in a future bride and devises the right test to find her.
Prince Henrik longs to “fall in love and get married,” but his future bride must share his zeal for hockey and camping. Henrik’s brother, Prince Hans, advises a “real princess” should be so sensitive she will complain about sleeping on a single pea placed under “a stack of twenty mattresses and twenty eiderdown quilts.” Hans’ wife, Princess Eva, passed this time-honored test, but when Henrik observes whiney Eva, he knows he wants the exact opposite. Eschewing stacks of mattresses, eiderdown quilts and the single pea, Henrik opts to test aspiring princesses with an old sleeping bag, a thin camping mattress and a packet of frozen peas. No girl tolerates sleeping on peas until Henrik’s “outdoorsy” pal Pippa arrives. After a day of sports, Pippa sleeps “fantastically well,” using the frozen peas as an ice pack for her sore shin. Relying on pattern, line and pale colors, the naively stylized pencil, gouache and collage illustrations subvert proportions and perspectives, adding to the whimsical tenor of this droll tale of a savvy prince who finds the perfect partner.
A must for would-be princesses. (Picture book. 4-8)