THE PRINCESS AND THE PEA by Alain Vaës

THE PRINCESS AND THE PEA

adapted by & illustrated by
Age Range: 7 - 9
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KIRKUS REVIEW

In this witty makeover of the Andersen tale, a grasping queen almost corners the diamond market before an opal—and an Opaline—derail her scheme. After forbidding any other engagements in the kingdom until Prince Ralph is hitched, Queen Frieda proceeds to set tests that none of the candidate princesses, despite expertise in areas as diverse as yo-yo tricks and cyberspace-ecology, can pass. Prince Ralph drives off in high dudgeon—or actually, in a car, which breaks down on an isolated road. Enter grease-spattered Opaline von Highbredde, tow-truck driver and crown princess of neighboring Lower Crestalia. It’s love at first sight. Vaës (Puss in Boots, 1992, etc.) places doll-like figures into elegant Edwardian (or thereabouts) settings, and even Opaline, despite her spotted overalls, stands with a dancer’s grace, not a hair out of place. Perched atop 20 mattresses, the princess spends a sleepless night, not because of the pea at the bottom, but because the huge opal she wears around her neck has caught in her long hair and is lodged in the small of her back. Even the Queen blesses the happy couple the next morning—once she finds out about the huge fortune Opaline stands to inherit. There’s a theatrical air to the story and pictures here, which comes as no surprise, as Vaës is a set designer for the New York City Ballet. Winning. (Picture book. 7-9)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-316-89633-0
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Little, Brown
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1st, 2001




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