Tony Wilson Review: The Princess and the Packet of Frozen Peas

Tony Wilson Review: Tony Wilson states on his website that he wrote this book after thinking about the classic Hans Christian Anderson story, the Princess and the Pea.

He decided that the princess was a bit of a whiner due to her sensitivity to the pea, buried as it was under all those mattresses.

So he wrote about the brother of the prince from the original story, who is named Henrik.

Henrik is on a search for a princess to fall in love with and get married, as princes do. Of course, being a prince, Henrik has a score of likely female candidates who can, quite rightly, picture themselves as the new princess.

But Henrik doesn't want just any girl; the girl he wants has to like the same things he likes: hockey and camping.

Prince Henrik enlists the aid and advice of his brother, who married a real princess - the highly sensitive Princess Eva. Henrik learns that he doesn't really want a sensitive princess. He just wants a girl who likes the same sorts of things he likes and has a nice smile.

And so Prince Henrik goes on a quest to find a princess using a packet of frozen peas, a camping mattress and a sleeping bag. His search ultimately leads him to Pippa...

The Princess and the Packet of Frozen Peas is a clever treatment of the famous story. It places the characters and situations from a classic story into a modern context with contemporary attitudes about relationships and friendship.

It's also very funny, particularly when the real princess, Princess Eva whinges and moans about all the things that irritate her sensitive nature.

And there's quite a list.

Tony Wilson Review cont...

I tend to use the text with upper primary (elementary) students. The Fry Readability Graph indicates that this story is a grade 4 - 5 level text, but I believe it can be used with grade 3 students as well. It receives a higher Fry readability rating because many of the sentences are complex or compound/complex, and can be quite lengthy.

The Princess and the Packet of Frozen Peas makes an excellent book for teaching story grammar/narrative principles to mid to late primary (elementary) students. It's very effective because it follows all the conventions of story grammar, such as initiating event, problem, plan, conclusion, etc.

I demonstrate how I use this book as a language teaching tool (story grammar) on the language therapy narrative webpage.

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