cover image Princess Pigtoria and the Pea

Princess Pigtoria and the Pea

Pamela Duncan Edwards, illus. by Henry Cole. Scholastic/Orchard, $16.99 (32p) IS

This heavily alliterative retelling of "The Princess and the Pea" from the creators of The Old House is more like "The Princess and the Letter P." The porcine princess's palace is in disrepair, and in hopes of improving her digs, she answers Prince Proudfoot's personal ad for a "proper princess" to be his bride. Arriving at his palace, she orders "plenty of pizzas" and feasts with the palace staff ("everyone performed the polka until they were pooped"). After getting a poor night's sleep, Pigtoria is outraged to discover that the prince put a pea under her pillow (the leftovers of her meal are actually to blame), but after a few romantic twists and turns, everyone gets a happy ending. The incessant single-letter repetition takes precedence over the meandering story line and makes for some strained sentences ("Let us become a pair," suggests Pigtoria's new suitor, the pizza delivery pig, to which she replies, "Peachy!"). Cole's watercolors%E2%80%94accented with pinks and purples%E2%80%94offer plenty of comic details, especially the prince's expressive staff, which includes a poodle, parrot, and platypus. Ages 5-8. (Feb.)