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Princess and the Peas by Rachel Himes

Princess and the Peas

by Rachel Himes

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Ma Sally was the best cook in Charleston County, South Carolina - a fact attested to by the hordes of people eager to eat her food during Sunday evening potluck at First Baptist Church. When her beloved son John announced that he was interested in getting married, Ma Sally was concerned. She needed to be assured that the woman her son married was able to cook, so she held a black-eyed-pea-cooking contest. Into this competition walked Princess, the new young woman in town, who had plenty of culinary skills, and a few ideas of her own...

As first-time author/artist Rachel Himes makes clear in her author's note, Princess and the Peas is based upon Hans Christian Andersen's classic fairy-tale, The Princess and the Pea, and reflects its creator's reimagining of that story, which never quite satisfied her as a young girl. Here the story is transplanted to 1950s Charleston, is set in an African-American neighborhood, and emphasizes Himes' concern with issues of family and community. The narrative is engaging - I particularly liked the ending, in which Princess manages to upend the somewhat stereotypical assumption that women are the only ones who must worry about what they bring to a marital partnership - and the artwork colorful and entertaining. Recommended to anyone who, like Himes, finds the original Andersen tale unsatisfying, as well as to anyone looking for fractured fairy-tales in general. ( )
  AbigailAdams26 | Jul 26, 2017 |
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In this adaptation of The Princess and the Pea, 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.
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In this version of the classic story, Ma Sally of Charleston County, South Carolina, devises a contest for her son's admirers: cook up a dish of black-eyed peas that meets her exacting standards, and the winner can marry her son. Includes recipe for Princess' black-eyed peas.… (more)

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