By: Helen Rush
La Princesa and the Pea
Author: Susan Middleton Elyr
Illustrated by Jurna Martinez-Neal
La Princesa and
the Pea won the
Award in 2018.
About the book
The ALA book I choose to do was, La Princesa and the Pea. This book told the story of a príncipe looking for a wife, but his mother takes charge of vetting out the possible candidates. When la princesa comes along he instantly falls in love with her, but his mother puts her to the test by hiding a pea underneath mattresses. If la princesa feels the pea then she is worthy in his mother’s eyes. The príncipe wanted la princesa to pass her test so he puts sharp objects under the mattresses to make sure she would feel something. In the end La princesa ended up passing the mother’s test and the two got married.
Pura Belpré Award
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La Princesa and the Pea won the Pura Belpré Award in 2018. This award is named after the first Latina librarian at the New York Public Library (ALA). ALA states “It is presented every year to a Latino/Latina writer and illustrator whose book best portrays, affirms, and celebrates the Latino cultural experience in an outstanding work of literature for children and youth (ALA).”
After reading the criteria of this award, I would definitely have voted for this book to win if I was on the jury. It’s a story that represents Latino culture for young children that I think most boys and girls will enjoy and look up to.
Jeanette Hulick reviewed La Princesa and the Pea on the CLCD. She called the illustrator’s work graceful and said that Martinez-Neals’ work is what made this story a ‘winner’ (Hulick). The review also believes it will not only be enjoyable to children but valuable when trying to expand the diversity of fairy-tales (Hulick).Overall, I think this is a great book for young children to read. Not only can it teach children a little bit of Spanish but it shows diversity. Diversity at a young age teaches children acceptance towards our friends and this story is a great example.
ALA website (2018, April 14). Welcome to the Pura Belpré Award home page! Retrieved from http://www.ala.org/alsc/awardsgrants/bookmedia/belpremedal
Hulick, J. (2017). La princesa and the pea. Retrieved from http://www.clcd.com.proxy- millersville.klnpa.org/#/bookdetail/1/0/nEommJOLkOIOOpkM/bdrtop
Middleton Elya, Susan (2017). La Princesa and the Pea. (Illus. by J. Martinez-Neal). New York NY: G.P. Putnam’s Sons.