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The princess and the packet of frozen peas
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Author Notes
Tony Wilson is an Australian writer, speaker, radio and television personality, born in 1972. He writes adult and children's book. His work for children includes Harry Highpants, The Princess and the Packet of Frozen Peas, The Emperor's New Clothes Horse, and his latest book The Cow Tripped Over the Moon. He has written two novels for adults, Players and Making News. His sports memoir is entitled, Australia United. He has also written numerous articles for magazines and newspapers. He's an ex-Triple R Breakfaster, and a regular on ABC Local Radio and Radio National. <p> (Bowker Author Biography)
Fiction/Biography Profile
Henrik (Male), Prince, Searches for a girl who isn't so sensitive; falls for Pippa
Pippa (Female), Tomboy, Old friend of Henrik;
Fairy tales
Man-woman relationships
Fairy tales
Time Period
2000s -- 21st Century
Large Cover Image
Trade Reviews

  Publishers Weekly Review

Prince Henrik yearns for a girl who likes hockey and camping, but his older brother, Hans, insists that only a "real" princess who's "very beautiful and very sensitive" will do. Someone like Hans's wife, Eva, who passed the pea-under-the-mattresses-test with flying colors, but whose sensitivity really amounts to being a self-important whiner. Will Henrik find true love with his own version of the test, which involves frozen peas and a sleeping bag? And will anyone be surprised that the winner is his old pal Pippa, who's sporty but not posh and "has a lovely gap between her two front teeth"? This story has indie rom-com written all over it (think The Royal Tenenbaums). Whether children warm to the book's laid-back vibe, Wilson's reportorial prose and deGennaro's hipster naif sketches give this tale of unconventional princes and princesses an authenticity that not all stories in this mold possess. There are plenty of boys who would enjoy hanging out with gangly, always-game Pippa, and just as many girls who would be happy to emulate her. Ages 4-8. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

  School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 3-Prince Henrik, a younger brother of the prince from "The Princess and the Pea," is looking for a bride. There's only one problem-though gaggles of flower-throwing girls pursue him, he has difficulty choosing "the one." Soliciting his older brother Hans's advice, he's told that the most important qualities in a "real princess" are beauty and sensitivity, as revealed by the old pea-under-the-mattress test. As he observes Hans's wife, he discovers that "sensitive" really means whiny and demanding and wisely decides that he doesn't wants a "real princess" but instead a girl with a nice smile who would share his interests. As his test, he uses a camping mattress, a sleeping bag, and a packet of frozen peas, getting rid of many bewildered girls. His quest concludes happily when his friend Pippa comes to stay and passes the test with flying colors. DeGennaro's sparely drawn cartoon characters delight with their expressiveness, perfectly complementing Wilson's snarky humor. It's hard not to laugh at the depiction of Hans's snidely sneering spouse "being sensitive about the tennis balls" when they are "too bouncy." Whimsical details are scattered throughout the book-the prince snoozing with field hockey trophies, his sleeping bag covered with "Zs," and, of course, green peas on nearly every page. A lighthearted modern take on the familiar fairy tale, this would be a welcome addition to most collections.-Yelena Alekseyeva-Popova, formerly at Chappaqua Library, NY (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

  Booklist Review

In this twist on a classic fairy tale, Prince Henrik is looking to meet his princess, and she needs to have three qualifications: like hockey and camping and have a nice smile. The search proves challenging, so he turns to his brother, Prince Hans, for advice. Hans' sensitive (euphemism for high-maintenance) wife, Princess Eva, revealed herself to be a true princess when she felt the pea Hans had placed under a stack of twenty mattresses and twenty eiderdown quilts. But Henrik is seeking the anti-Eva, so he places a pack of frozen peas under a single, thin mattress; the noncomplainer is the girl for him. Pippa, Henrik's close friend and fellow ice-hockey fan, is put to the frozen-pea challenge, and she finds them useful I had a bit of a sore shin from playing hockey. The illustrations, rendered in collage, gouache, and pencil, lend additional quirkiness to an already eccentric story, with humorous touches like Henrik's sporty headband. Frankly, it's refreshing to see a gap-toothed commoner score the crown.--Kelley, Ann Copyright 2010 Booklist

  Horn Book Review

Prince Henrik doesn't want to marry a fussy girly-girl like his sister-in-law. His princess test involves a camping mat, a sleeping bag, and "a whole packet of frozen peas." When his hockey-playing friend Pippa has a good nights sleep, Henrik knows he's found his match. The collage, gouache, and pencil illustrations verge on unattractive, but they suit this playful fairy tale. (c) Copyright 2012. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

  Kirkus Review

In this contemporary version of "The Princess and the Pea," Prince Henrik knows what he wants in a future bride and devises the right test to find her. Prince Henrik longs to "fall in love and get married," but his future bride must share his zeal for hockey and camping. Henrik's brother, Prince Hans, advises a "real princess" should be so sensitive she will complain about sleeping on a single pea placed under "a stack of twenty mattresses and twenty eiderdown quilts." Hans' wife, Princess Eva, passed this time-honored test, but when Henrik observes whiney Eva, he knows he wants the exact opposite. Eschewing stacks of mattresses, eiderdown quilts and the single pea, Henrik opts to test aspiring princesses with an old sleeping bag, a thin camping mattress and a packet of frozen peas. No girl tolerates sleeping on peas until Henrik's "outdoorsy" pal Pippa arrives. After a day of sports, Pippa sleeps "fantastically well," using the frozen peas as an ice pack for her sore shin. Relying on pattern, line and pale colors, the naively stylized pencil, gouache and collage illustrations subvert proportions and perspectives, adding to the whimsical tenor of this droll tale of a savvy prince who finds the perfect partner. A must for would-be princesses. (Picture book. 4-8)]] Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
In this modern take on the Princess and the Pea, Prince Henrik decides that sometimes real princesses can be too sensitive!<br> Prince Henrik wants to marry an outdoorsy kind of girl, so instead of a single pea tucked into a pile of bedding, Henrik tests prospective brides with an entire packet of frozen peas shoved under a flimsy camping mattress. Henrik despairs as princess after princess complains, until one day the just-right girl shows up unexpectedly in the form of his old friend, Pippa. Pippa is all too happy to join Henrik in pitching a tent or playing a hard game of hockey, after which she finds the perfect use for that packet of frozen peas!<br> In this remix of the fairy tale, Tony Wilson and Sue deGennaro deliver a freshly humorous take on one prince?s search for the girl of his dreams.
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