Author: Sue Ganz-Schmitt

Author: Sue Ganz-Schmitt

Illustrated by Micah Chambers-Goldberg

ISBN:  978-0-9831487-0-9

 

A take-off of the famous fairytale, The Princess and the Pea, The Princess and the Peanut by Sue Ganz-Schmitt has an interesting and educational twist: it’s written specifically for children who are dealing with an allergy to tree nuts as well as those who might have friends who are.

The story opens with a young prince who is looking for a princess who is kind, loyal, gracious, honest, brave, and fair. Thus, he defines what a real princess is. It’s refreshing that this prince is not looking for superficial beauty.

His education takes him through burning dragons, jousting, and village squabbles. His searching takes him past sleeping princesses, peril, dragons, and wizards. He searches highlands, lowlands, widelands, and tidelands. But alas, no real princess is to be found.

The king and queen decide to throw a royal harvest ball in order to support their son’s quest. The guests are many; and according to the illustration, they include some pretty grotesque and unsavory characters.

The ball ends as a thunder storm breaks out over the land. Just then the bell clangs at the gate, and there stands a drenched, muddy maiden who is lost. The royal family graciously invites her in and prepares a place for her to spend the night. They wonder if she might be a real princess, but they don’t have a pea to place under her stack of mattresses in order to find out. So the queen substitutes a peanut.

You guessed it: the princess is allergic to peanuts. She breaks out in hives and her ability to breathe is threatened. Quickly, the doctor is summoned. The princess receives an epinephrine injection into her thigh, which averts permanent disaster. The doctor advises keeping an eye on the young lady, providing opportunity for the prince and the princess to strike up a friendship. A discussion about allergies ensues in the castle; thereby, providing education to the reader.

The story ends happily ever after as the prince and genuine princess are wed and live in a nut-free castle.

I found the story to be a quaint twist on an old classic. I shared the book with two girls ages 8 and 10. They were able to easily read it for themselves and also enjoyed the storyline. However, they commented that some of the pictures were not appropriate for young children, as they pointed to some pretty scary-looking dragons and disturbing faces. On the cover, they liked the princess but not the demons surrounding her. So if you have children with that type of sensibility, you will want to take that into account. Personally, I think the sinister illustrations and dark color scheme is the weakness in what otherwise would be a brilliant and entertaining book for kids.

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