"The Princess and the Pea," courtesy of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.
Hans Christian Andersen’s tale of the princess and the pea is about exquisite sensitivities—of the upper crust in the original, here mainlined into the hoi polloi as what looks rather plainly to be obsessive compulsion. Perhaps the reason behind the relocation was for identification purposes, but Princess Rosebud, aka Princess Fussy in this nattering story, isn’t anyone upon whom readers will want to pin their prospects. This princess likes things just so: Her crayons on the table must be like this, the sand in her bathing suit (none, that is) like that, the stretch of her socks comme ça, labels removed from all shirts and, forefend, no peas touching the carrots on her dinner plate. When the last shatters her world, she shoves the plate off the table, gets sent to her room and later apologizes. After her father reads her the original story (tipped in as separate folio leaves on successive spreads), she has a bad night’s sleep thanks to a wayward marble and is confirmed a princess. As it were. Foster’s eye-easy artwork, with its soft colors and comfortable, retro lines, can’t elevate Princess Rosebud to enchanted status.
Too finicky by half to have its day in court. (Picture book. 4-8)