(Kids') Book Shelf: The Princess and the Packet of Frozen Peas by Tony Wilson and Sue deGennaro
This book contains such a quirky spin on the theme contained in The Princess and the Pea, the story by Hans Christen Anderson in which we find a prince travelling all over the world to find a real princess. He found none and returned home.
But one stormy night a real princess arrived on his doorstep, looking bedraggled and wet. To put her to the test, to see if her claim was authentic, the Queen placed a teeny-tiny pea under layers of mattresses and doonas on her bed... a true princess would surely feel the pea, deep beneath the downy sea, her skin being so delicate and all. And she did.
However, in Tony Wilson's imagination, the princess was a bit of a pain... how could someone so sensitive as to complain about a single pea interrupting her good nights' sleep possibly be enjoyable to live with? And so we have The Princess and the Packet of Frozen Peas with spindly, soft and sweet illustrations by Sue deGennaro.
In this story, which was born of an essay Wilson wrote about meeting his now-wife called 'Love Is Blind', Prince Henrick is on the search for a princess who plays hockey and likes camping. Easy, right? Not so much. Until at last he finds the girl of his dreams... who has a gap between her two front teeth.
While one might suggest that even the easy-breeziest, sportiest of girls can turn into a princess if her prince acts like a dunce (and might be excused for throwing a packet of peas at him in retaliation on occasion), the idea that a true prince simply wants a girl without the drama is a welcome antidote to traditional fairytale expectations, where the girl who's most down-to-earth wins the prince's heart.
It's a modern take on an old story with a message about being who you are in order to truly find your perfect match... on the hockey field or off.
Girl With a Satchel