Friday, January 18, 2008

The Princess and the Pea--Retelling #2

The Princess and the Pea
Retold and illustrated by Rachel Isadora
Putnam, 2007

Rachel Isadora provides a stunning visual extravaganza in this book. It is done in oil paints, printed paper, and palette paper. With each cutout is intricate texture. There are many bright colors and the wardrobes of the characters and the bedding for the princess are amazing!

This story has far fewer details in the text of the story. But really, the text doesn’t need much elaboration because the illustrations are so detailed. The story itself is very basic. A prince is looking for a princess. He travels far and wide to find a princess. He returns home after finding no one. A princess comes to him during a storm. They provide her a place to sleep and put a pea under the mattresses. She gets black and blue and they know she is a real princess. The pea that is put under the mattresses is later put in a museum, just like in Andersen’s version.

What makes the retelling unique:
This retelling is set in Africa. The prince goes to visit Somalia, Kenya, and Ethiopia on his travels to find a princess. It includes the words for hello in Swahili, Somali, and Amharic when the princesses meet the prince, and each princess is dressed in traditional clothing.

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