The Very Smart Pea and the Princess-to-be by Mini Grey (Amazon.co.uk) is a book with a little schizophrenia since it was released under different titles and with different designs in the U.S. and U.K. I own the U.S. edition which I think I prefer this time around although I often prefer the other releases. It was shortlisted for the Kate Greenaway Medal the year it was released, a nice achievement.
Book description from the publisher in the U.S.:
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 who may have wondered how anyone could feel a tiny garden-variety pea under the weight of 20 mattresses, this book will put that question to rest once and for all. Mini Grey?s clever picture book reveals the inside story of the famous Princess and Pea fairy tale through the memoirs of the unlikely heroine, the Pea. The setting is contemporary (with a Queen who must surely be related to the current monarch of England), but the humor is timeless. This witty spoof introduces Mini Grey who, we predict, will grow on you!And UK book description, just to compare marketing strategies in text and book covers:
Once upon a time there was an enchanting fairytale about a prince who was looking for a real princess to be his bride. The only way to tell whether the many princesses who applied for the post were really royal, legend had it, was to see if they would be able to feel a tiny little pea through dozens of luxurious mattresses as they slept. Only the princess who emerged the next morning complaining of the extreme discomfort in which she had passed the night, could possibly be good enough to be the prince's bride . . . All well and enchanting, but has anyone stopped to think about how all this might have felt for the pea in question? No. So here, for the first time, straight from the pea, is the truth about this much-loved, oft-repeated fairytale.And now for some images, really the first two pages as well as the back and front endpapers which are slightly different. They don't convey the full charm of the book, but they hopefully will poke your interest into searching out the book at your library or bookstore. And mostly this book reminds me it is time to be starting my vegetable garden. (Don't worry, I'm not any more ambitious than tomatoes and cucumbers. I don't have a big enough green thumb.)