This brief retelling of the classic story of the Princess and the Pea follows the completely traditional storyline: A prince’s heretofore unsuccessful search for a true princess to marry finds a suitable bride when a girl taking refuge from a storm has a ridiculously uncomfortable night’s sleep resulting from a single pea hidden beneath a tall stack of mattresses and blankets. Where this version distinguishes itself is in Glendhill’s illustrations, which are inventive and utterly modern. Details such as the creative Hollywood setting, diverse characters including the black royal family and an Asian princess, delightfully bold costuming, and quirky additions such as dogs dressed up in princess costumes give this a new and distinct flavor. However, the revamped and original illustrations feel at odds with the very conventional retelling—readers anticipating a feminist take or hoping for a modern twist will finish feeling disappointed and that the book has fallen short of its potential.
The illustrations in this one are awesome and modern, in both style and substance, but it felt at odds with the very classic telling (I'm still confused why feeling a single pea under a pile of mattresses makes you a princess . . . instead of just whiney.) But, it's a classic and very cute illustrations :)
Carly Gledhill is a children’s book illustrator/author living and working in Stockport, U.K. She has worked as a print designer for studios and retailers and completed an MA in children’s book illustration. She got her first book deal with Orchard Books, writing and Illustrating Monty and Sylvester: A Tale of Everyday Superheroes (2018). Since then she has worked on her second title for Orchard and illustrated for publishers and clients including Little Tiger Press, Quarto, and Redbird Publishing.
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