Reviews for Nobody Asked the Pea


Horn Book Guide Reviews 2013 Fall
A clever but disjointed reworking of "The Princess and the Pea" gives voice to the many characters in the drama--including Patrick the Pea. Each page or double-page spread presents a new point of view, some entirely peripheral to the central story (Roger the doorman, Mother Mouse). The watercolor illustrations and the lengthy text are diverting but not entirely satisfying.

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Kirkus Reviews 2013 February #1
An extraordinarily arch and campy version of "The Princess and the Pea" is told from multiple points of view. It opens with a cast of characters, each with a distinctive voice and typeface in the narrative, starting with Patrick the Pea, growing "rounder and firmer each day" and extremely pleased with himself. Queen Mildred hectors her son Harold about getting married, pronto, and she is the perfect stereotype of a controlling, nagging and obnoxious mother. Harold, meanwhile, just wants to hang around and hunt. A few princesses are met and sent away, until Princess Lucy appears in the castle hall, soaking wet and disheveled, and cannot sleep a wink on the pile of mattresses with Patrick the Pea hidden under them. Harold is kind of delighted to find an outdoorsy girl who loves to hunt, Queen Mildred is pleased to outshine the other queens in wedding planning (especially Queen Estelle, "who couldn't plan a trip to the privy by herself"). The watercolor-and-pencil pastel-hued illustrations reveal deeply caricatured and exaggerated figures (including the mice and the horses, as well as Patrick the Pea). Not for young children, but good fun for middle-grade fans of fractured fairy tales as well as highly useful in classrooms. (Picture book. 8-12) Copyright Kirkus 2013 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

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School Library Journal Reviews 2013 May

K-Gr 3--In this wordy rendition, the classic fairy tale is retold from the viewpoints of 10 different characters. It begins with the pea in the garden bragging about being the biggest and best. Then Queen Mildred chimes in about her efforts to get her son to marry. Prince Harold doesn't want a fancy, prim girl for a bride. He'd rather have someone who will go hunting with him. Princess Tina is on her way over to the castle for her tryout. The housemaids are instructed to stack the mattresses. The queen plucks the pea from the garden, not explaining her plan to anyone. King Henry, the doormen, and the castle mice share their points of view along the way. The next morning, Princess Tina tells the Queen that she "slept like a log." She is sent on her way. A big storm hits. During the storm a girl appears at the door of the castle, wet and bedraggled. She claims she's a princess, but in her present state it's hard to tell. She, of course, doesn't sleep at all on the stack of mattresses. Soon a wedding is planned and there's great celebration throughout the land. The second-to-last scene shows the prince and princess off on a hunting trip. The last scene shows the pea in a display case, atop a purple pillow. The watercolor illustrations are perfect for the story, with detailed costumes, faces, and expressions. A fun, albeit lengthy, retelling.--Ieva Bates, Ann Arbor District Library, MI

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