for Princess and the Peas
by Rachel Himes
Ma Sally is the best cook in the county and is especially known for her delicious black-eyed peas. Ma Sally decides that whomever her son John wants to marry, she’ll have to be as good at cooking black-eyed peas as she is. John is much admired around town for his kindness, especially by Miss Hannah, Miss Hattie, and Miss Harriet. Unfortunately for all three, they’re terrible cooks. It’s Princess, new to town, who impresses. Her peas are even better than Ma Sally’s. But she’s not so sure about marrying. “I like John well enough, but I’ve got my own plans. How about this—dancing Saturday at the juke joint?” She also makes clear she expects John to help clean up the dirty pots and pans. A fresh telling of a classic tale is followed by a note in which the author-illustrator discusses how the original never made sense to her (who can possible feel a pea under a mattress?) and also that she chose to set this story in an African American community in the South in the mid-1950s. Her desire to showcase love, family, and community is supported by a lively narrative and naïve-style illustrations in which details make for a vibrant sense of time, place, and characters. (Ages 4-8)
CCBC Choices 2018. © Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2018. Used with permission.
A reimagining of the classic "The Princess and the Pea" set in an African American community in the South in the 1950s. Now in paperback!
In this adaptation of "The Princess and the Pea," there are no mattresses. Ma Sally cooks the best black-eyed peas in Charleston County, South Carolina. Her son, John, is a highly eligible bachelor, and three local women vie for his hand in marriage by attempting to cook as well as Ma. At the last minute, a surprise contestant named Princess arrives at the door. Princess and John are well-matched, but Princess has her own ideas. When told she has won John’s hand, she asks him to scrub the pots and pans before she'll give him an answer.
Dedicated to "Black families everywhere," this heartwarming story, with its fairy-tale tone, will have broad appeal.
Publisher description retrieved from Google Books.