The princess and the pea
Rachel Isadora – author/illustrator
G. P. Putnam and Sons
The story: This is the stock standard version of the classic fairy tale. The illustrations, made with oil paints, printed paper and palette paper, are vibrant and vivid depictions of African princesses. The story also uses some African words, which are defined at the back of the book.
The highlights: The illustrations show that princesses don’t necessarily look like Disney ones.
Tony Wilson – author
Sue deGennaro – illustrator
The story: This book is about a prince called Henrik who wants to find a princess to marry.
She didn’t have to be beautiful or sensitive. She just had to like hockey and camping and have a nice smile.
Prince Henrik’s test involves not only a canopy bed with twenty mattresses and one pea, but a thin camping mattress, an old sleeping bag and a whole packet of frozen peas.
The highlights: The traditional story is interpreted in a modern and contemporary way – and it is just so funny!
Lauren Child – author/illustrator
Polly Borland – photographer
The story: Lauren Child painted cornflake packets for the panelled rooms and set up the paper-dressed characters inside with tweezers, before Polly Borland, the photographer, took the photos. The language is just as wonderful as the illustrations –
“You see,” said the king, “a real princess is not only mesmerisingly beautiful and fascinatingly interesting but, most important of all –”
“She has manners,” said the queen.
“No one should ever travel without them,” said the king.
“No, never, never go anywhere without your manners,” agreed the queen, taking her elbows off the table.
The highlights: The artwork is so intricate and so beautifully detailed, and the story embraces the traditional version but adds its own spin. Miss 8 can embrace her inner princess as often as she likes – she can be as mesmerisingly beautiful and fascinatingly interesting as she likes – as long as she remembers her manners!