The Princess and the Pea by Xanthe Gresham

Published by Barefoot Books (ISBN: 9781846869051)

This is a re-telling of Hans Christian Anderson’s tale which Xanthe Gresham has made her own. 

The first thing that drew me to this book was the unique style of the illustrator, Miss Clara. The pictures are quite stunning and deserve to be enjoyed in their own right. Each spread has a magical quality which makes the whole book feel and look beautiful. As the prince visits each new princess, the colours used and the artistic style changes, making you feel like you are travelling from place to place.

Xanthe Gresham uses the language and style of the story teller to share this traditional tale. Rich in alliteration and simile, this is a pleasure to read aloud due to the lyrical language she chooses. Perfect for sharing, this book could also inspire so much other work!

Performing the story, children could focus on their presentation skills. It could be used as the starting point for so much drama work. The vocabulary choices are inspirational and offer a whole range of possibilities.  There are lots of writing opportunities – both creative and non-fiction. If the art work in this book doesn’t inspire children to experiment, then nothing will.

A real treasure!