Cover image for The very smart pea and the princess-to-be
The very smart pea and the princess-to-be
Grey, Mini.
Personal Author:
First American edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Alfred A. Knopf : Distributed by Random House, [2003]

Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 26 cm
The pea gives its own version of what happened in the fairy tale, "The Princess and the Pea, " from the time of its birth in the Palace Garden until it helps arrange a royal marriage.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 3.3 0.5 75238.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PIC BK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



When it comes to sorting out a Real Princess from a Fake Princess, the famous pea-under-the-mattress test is tried-and-true. But for those of you who may have wondered how anyone could feel a tiny garden-variety pea under the weight of twenty mattresses, this book will put that question to rest once and for all.

This witty spoof was shortlisted for the prestigious Kate Greenaway Medal in the UK. It was Mini Grey's first book and a worthy predecessor to such favorites as Traction Man is Here!

Author Notes

Mini Grey was given her name after being born in a Mini Cooper automobile in Wales. She studied art and then worked as a theater designer and elementary school teacher before devoting full time to writing and illustrating picture books. In addition to The Very Smart Pea and the Princess-to-be she is also the author of the wildly popular Traction Man is Here! and Traction Man Meets Turbodog .

Reviews 1

School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 3-The "real story" of the Princess and the Pea is finally told from the pea's point of view. It begins its story in the palace garden, nestled in a pod with its brothers and sisters. It just knew it was destined for greatness and was not surprised when it was picked from the pile of shelled peas and taken to the queen. The prince has just returned home after a year of fruitless searching for a bride and the queen is not happy. She places an ad in the newspaper for REAL princesses and spends months testing young women with the pea-under-the-mattress trick. One stormy night, there is a knock on the door and there stands a young woman with a basket of fresh veggies. Without a chance to say a word, she is whisked off to a bedroom and placed on the top of 20 mattresses. The little pea recognizes her as its beloved gardener and decides to take action. All night long it whispers into her ear, "There is something Large and Round and very Uncomfortable in the bed under you." The rest is history. This story lacks the zing and energy and cohesiveness of other spoofs such as Jon Scieszka's The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs (Viking, 1989). The gardening touches in the quirky illustrations add an element of fun, but even the queen's carrot nose and pea eyes cannot save the rambling tale. Readers are left hoping for more "inside dirt" than is delivered here.-Wendy Woodfill, Hennepin County Library, Minnetonka, MN (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.