La Princesa and the Pea by Susan Middleton Elya, illustrated by Juana Martinez-Neal

Published by G. P. Putnam’s Sons

Summary:  The prince is longing for a wife, but no woman is perfect enough for his mother’s approval.  When a maiden happens by, the prince is hopeful, but Mom decides to test her with the old pebble under the mattress(es) trick.  Naturally, the young woman tosses and turns all night, convincing the mother that she’s the one for her son.  There’s a bit of a twist at the end, as it’s revealed that the prince stuck some pitchforks and stones in with the mattresses, but everyone lives happily ever after anyway.  Includes a glossary of Spanish words used in the text and an illustrator’s note explaining how she was inspired by textile arts of indigenous people of Peru in creating her art.  32 pages; ages 4-8.

Pros:  The catchy rhyming text and South American influences in both language and illustrations make this a perfect companion to the more traditional tale of the princess and the pea.

Cons:  Kids will find it helpful to have some background knowledge of the original story before reading this one.

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