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Children's Literature Reviews
Item 1 of 1

The princess and the pizza
by Mary Jane and Herm Auch.
New York : Holiday House, 2002.
1 v. (unpaged) : col. ill. ; 29 cm.

Annotations:

An out-of-work princess applies to become the bride of Prince Drupert, but first she must pass several tests, including a cooking contest.

Best Books:

Children's Choices, 2003 ; International Reading Association; United States

Awards, Honors, Prizes:

Storytelling World Award, 2003 Winner Stories for Pre-Adolescent Listeners United States

State and Provincial Reading Lists:

Arkansas Diamond Primary Book Reading List, 2004-2005 ; Nominee; Grades K-3; Arkansas
Patricia Gallagher Picture Book Award , 2006-2007 ; Nominee; Oregon
Show Me Readers Award, 2004-2005 ; Nominee; Grades 1-3; Missouri
Young Hoosier Book Award, 2005-2006 ; Nominee; Picture Book; Indiana

Reading Measurement Programs:


Accelerated Reader
Interest Level Lower Grade
Book Level 4.2
Accelerated Reader Points 0.5
Accelerated Vocabulary

Lexile, MetaMetrics, Inc.
Adult Directed
Lexile Measure 540

Reading Counts-Scholastic
Interest Level K-2
Reading Level 4
Title Point Value 2
Lexile Measure AD 540

Reviews:

Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz (Children's Literature)
Princess Paulina finds twelve other princesses vying to marry Prince Drupert when she arrives at the castle, having lost her kingdom and desperate for a job. She easily passes the old pea-under-the-mattress test and the glass slipper fitting. But the final feast-cooking task leaves her with nothing much to work with. The other two remaining candidates, one with very long hair and the other with seven small helpers, have taken most of the food and utensils available. The surprise she manages to produce, a pizza, leads to many happy consequences in this zany spoof. To enliven the already snappy parody, the painted illustrations combine some contextual details with characters just this side of cartoons, having exaggerated body language and facial expressions. Intricate fabric patterns add a touch of visual class. 2002, Holiday House, $16.95. Ages 4 to 8.

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)
The latest of Mary Jane Auch's (Bantam of the Opera) fairy-tale parodies finds Paulina the Princess competing against her peers for the hand of Prince Drupert, the sorry-looking son of overbearing Queen Zelda. Paulina knows the old pea-in-the-mattress trick ("That's so once-upon-a-time," she scoffs to herself) and is unintimidated by the other two finalists, a princess with a very long braid and another princess accompanied by seven little men. But the kitchen assignment comes close to defeating her until, in despair, she whips up a mess of tomatoes, cheese and garlic on some bread dough, wowing Queen Zelda. In a gratifying final twist, Paulina rejects the prince and opens her own successful business—a pizza parlor, of course. Readers will delight in the sly references to other fairy tales and in the goofy visuals (e.g., with a sardonic grin, a Rapunzel-like princess uses her very long braid to trip Paulina). The illustrations, representing the wife-and-husband team's first picture-book collaboration, resemble those in Mary Jane Auch's previous works—they are just as witty yet considerably more detailed. This sassy send-up seems likely to deliver a royal case of the giggles. Ages 4-8. (Mar.)"

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.

Subjects:

Princesses Fiction.
Cooking Fiction.
Fairy tales.
Humorous stories.
LanguageCall NumberLCCNDewey DecimalISBN/ISSN
English (eng) PZ8.A9234 Pr 2002
2001024112 [E]
0823416836 (hardcover)
978-0-8234-1683-7
0823416836
9780823416837
View the WorldCat Record for this item.