In The Penguin and the Pea, Janet Pearlman gives a classic fairy tale a makeover by substituting penguins for people. A bedraggled penguin, claiming to be a true princess, appears on Penguin Prince’s doorstep. He is so taken with her that he wishes to marry her. They can only marry once the Queen gives her blessing, which is dependent on the penguins passing a test involving a pea, twenty mattresses, and twenty quilts. This retelling is rich with humour (“By the end of the day the Prince was so in love that he asked for her fin in marriage”). The gold-coloured borders which frame some of Pearlman’s charming ink-and-colour illustrations give the reader the impression of watching a film. mRb
Carol-Ann Hoyte is the Quebec English-language regional coordinator for TD Canadian Children's Book Week and organizer of monthly mixers for Montreal anglophone children's book authors and illustrators.