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Dr. Judy Rowen (Children's Literature)
Princess Paulina misses princessing ever since her father decided to leave the castle to become a wood carver. When she hears the announcement that Queen Zelda is seeking a princess to marry her son, Paulina springs into action, cleaning her tiara and best ball gown. She is a bit disappointed to discover there is competition for the Prince. Paulina easily passes the old "pea hidden under twelve mattresses" test and other time-honored princess qualifiers. She is horrified to learn that the final round will involve preparing a meal for the Prince, using only the ingredients provided (Iron Chef meets the Brothers Grimm). Paulina is literally tripped up in her attempts to select ingredients, and is left only with flour, yeast, water, tomatoes and cheese. If you read the title, you can guess what comes next--as expected, Paulina becomes the queen of pizza and turns her back on castle life (however, stayed tuned, for the text ends with a small, humorous twist). What makes this book especially fun is that Paulina is no pristine heroine--as Queen Zelda says, she has a big mouth. The full-color illustrations are suitably wacky; for instance, Paulina stalks around in bare feet while sporting a diamond pendant and tiara. 2002, Holiday House, $16.95. Ages 5 to 9.
Kirkus (Kirkus Reviews, February 15, 2002 (Vol. 70, No. 4))
The Auch husband-and-wife team (I Was a Third-Grade Spy, 2001, etc.) successfully collaborate on their first picture book, a delightful fairy-tale hodgepodge with a wonderful message about happily-ever-after. In an unexpected career change, Princess Paulina's father moves the family out of the castle and takes up woodcarving. But Paulina misses the job of princess. So when she hears that Queen Zelda is searching for a true princess to marry her son, she dusts off her tiara and tucks some garlic into her bodice for good luck (along with some sweet-smelling herbs to cover up the stench). The 12 competing princesses must pass several tests, including such time-honored favorites as the pea-under-the-mattress trick and the trying-on of the glass slipper. Finally, only three remain for the cooking test. But by this time, Paulina's sassy comments have not made her the favorite of the Queen. Her competition leaves her with little in the way of ingredients, and Paulina's attempts at cooking make only a gloppy mess. In desperation, Paulina stirs the fireplace coals, throws the garlic on the conglomeration for good luck (along with some sweet-smelling herbs to cover up the stench), and begins to plan her escape. But lo and behold, her meal is the favorite, and she inadvertently christens it "pizza." However, in a move similar to Elizabeth's in Robert Munsch's Paper Bag Princess (1988), Paulina decides she doesn't want to marry Prince Drupert after all, especially if it means having Zelda for a mother-in-law. So she goes back to the village and opens The Pizza Palace, where Zelda and Drupert dine every Thursday. Herman Auch's brightly colored drawings add humor and detail to the story: Prince Drupert looks the part of royal drip, Queen Zelda fits the stereotype of grouchy mother-in-law, and Paulina's expressions are especially revealing. With its can-do heroine and its message of "marriage isn't everything," this will appeal to everyone-but should definitely be required reading for young girls. 2002, Holiday House, $16.95. Category: Picture book. Ages 4 to 8. © 2002 Kirkus Reviews/VNU eMedia, Inc. All rights reserved.
Publishers Weekly (Publishers Weekly)
34;In this sassy send-up likely to deliver a royal case of the giggles," wrote
Publishers Weekly (Publishers Weekly)
The latest of Mary Jane Auch's (
Janice M. Del Negro (The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, March 2002 (Vol. 55, No. 7))
Princess Paulina, relegated to a “humble shack” ever since her father gave up his throne to become a woodcarver, misses princessing (walking peacocks, surveying the kingdom, doing the princess wave, etc.). When word gets out that Queen Zelda is seeking a “true princess” to marry her son, Drupert, Paulina figures this is her chance. She “rummaged through her trunk of ex-princess stuff, brushed the wood shavings from her best ball gown, and blew away the bits of sawdust that clung to her diamond tiara” and sets out for the palace. The competition (twelve other princesses) falls to the princess-and-the-pea trick (“Oh, for Pete’s sake. . . . That’s so once-upon-a-time”), and the glass-slipper test (“ . . . you never heard of sneakers?”). The final test is a cooking contest, but circumstances leave Paulina with nothing but “flour, yeast, water, three overripe tomatoes and a hunk of stale cheese.” Cooking for her life, she puts everything together and bakes the winning dish--pizza. Auch and Auch carry off this funny fractured fairy tale with style, complete with an unexpected conclusion that’s as satisfying as a slice with everything on it (Paulina dumps Drupert and returns home to open Paulina’s Pizza Palace, doing the princess wave from her pizza delivery cart). The storytelling is quick, the jokes are funny, and the pastiche of princess particulars is winning without being coy. The illustrations have a Shrek-like clumsy perfection that makes them just a touch too cartoony to be pretty, and the caricatured faces suit the parodic nature of the piece. More than just a pretty face, Princess Paulina is a deep dish who realizes that making a successful business is more satisfying than making an aristocratic marriage. Invite this princess to your next pizza party. (Reviewed from galleys) Review Code: R -- Recommended. (c) Copyright 2002, The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois. 2002, Holiday House, 32p, $16.95. Ages 5-9 yrs.
|Language||Call Number||LCCN||Dewey Decimal||ISBN/ISSN|
|English (eng)||PZ8.A9234 Pr 2002