The ever-popular (and controversial) “princess” test gets a handsome retelling amid a series of large-scale tableaux.
These appear on successive spreads that show to best effect when opened flat. In them, the prince wearily makes his way home beneath a multicultural gallery of rejected princesses, finding a suitable mate after a bedraggled blonde waif comes to the castle door and spends an uncomfortable night atop a tall, 3-D bed. Pixley uses color more than explicit visual details to suggest the stormy forest, the castle’s stonework and the furnishings in her illustrations, but faces are drawn with fine lines and show at least a limited range of expressions. Furthermore, the pop-ups unfold into expansive scenes with multiple layers and tongue-in-cheek notes—notably the pervasive recurrence of a pea motif and at the end, a display case with a pea that “vanishes” when the lid is raised.
A good “starter” version, though younger children may need some prodding to see how silly the whole premise is. (Pop-up/fairy tale. 6-9)