Title: The Peculiar Thing with the Pea
Author: Kaye Umansky
Illustrator: Claire Powell
Publisher: Barrington Stoke
Genre: Children’s fiction, Humour, Fairy tale
Book format: Paperback
Sweet Strawberries: Sweet StrawberrySweet StrawberrySweet StrawberrySweet StrawberrySweet Strawberry

Description: Prince Pete has no interest in getting married – he’s only 11!  But his mother the Queen is determined to find him a well-off wife.
When Patsy turns up claiming to be the rich Princess of Plethora, the Queen thinks she’s hit the jackpot, although she’s a little bit suspicious of Patsy’s scruffy appearance  and her lack of interests in Princessly pursuits like ballroom dancing and playing the recorder.  But all will be well if Patsy can just pass the Queen’s peculiar test with the pea…
A lough-out-loud retelling of The Princess and the Pea like you’ve never heard it before!

*Free copy provided by publisher for review…

Review:  This is such a funny story and a brilliant new twist on the traditional story of the princess and the pea. Prince Pete isn’t ready to get married, he’s only eleven, but his mother is determined to find him a potential wife so she starts advertising for a princess for her son. When Patsy shows up, Pete’s mother hopes to check whether she’s the real thing with a special test involving a pea, but things don’t go according to plan.

The Peculiar Thing with the Pea book page image one
©The Strawberry Post

I really enjoyed reading this new twist on the traditional tale! The story is narrated by Prince Pete who doesn’t like the idea of his mum wanting to find him a wife. When Patsy turns up claiming to be a princess, his mother is thrilled and works on checking whether Patsy really is a princess, while Pete gets to know Patsy, who doesn’t seem to be like a typical princess. The story is short but a good read and I just love the friendship that Pete and Patsy soon form and the fun things they end up doing together. While Pete’s mother works on the pea test, Pete gets to know Patsy who ends up breaking the traditional stereotype of what a princess should be like.

I like how the story progresses, with Pete’s mother’s actions getting more and more silly.  The ending is a satisfying one and what happens turns out to be so funny and silly at the same time. It’s just such a brilliant ending that will make you laugh whatever your age! The illustrations throughout the story are great, they really make the whole tale all the more funny, with lots of things to see in each image making the whole book all that more fun to read. Each image is in black, white and grey and are dotted throughout the text, often appearing on one whole page. As well as these fun illustrations which make this book easy to read, the text is easy to read too, with each paragraph separated and each piece of paper in the book being very thick and a more creamy/yellow colour than most books, making this book easy to read for dyslexic readers and those children who struggle or are reluctant readers.

The Peculiar Thing with the Pea book page image two
©The Strawberry Post

I really love this book!  I love it when any fairy tale is written with a new spin to it and this one is just brilliant with lots of funny moments, some funny names and references to things in our world today, and a great twist on the traditional stereotypes around girls. The whole story is just so silly and fun and will make anyone laugh aloud.  A book I recommend.


What do you think of this book?  Do you know of any other versions of the princess and the pea story?  Let me know what you think in the comments below 🙂