La Princesa and the Pea

Book Summary: 

This Spanish version of the princess and the pea is a little different than the version you may have heard before. In this version the prince is looking for wife, but it couldn’t just be any girl. The queen agreed that her son needed perfection. The girl that her son would marry had to pass a test. This test was that the girl would have to lay on many mattresses all piled on top of one another and feel the pea that has been placed underneath them all. The catch is that the girl would not know what the test was. A maid came in riding on a donkey and instantly caught the eye of the prince. The prince would make sure that the maid would pass the test to ensure that he could marry her. Once his mother set up the mattresses for the maid to sleep on, the prince placed pitchforks and stones underneath the mattresses without the queen knowing. This was the prince’s way of guaranteeing that the maid would not sleep well which would notify the queen that she was perfect for her son. The queen says that only a girl that is worthy will feel the pea. Sure enough the maid does not sleep well and is then given to the prince to marry. The prince and the maid live a happy life together and have a child for each mattress that the maid had slept on.


Susan Middleton Elya
Juana Martinez-Neal
G.P. Putnam's sons
Guiding Question: 

Has your social-class ever stopped you from speaking or interacting with someone or from accomplishing a goal that you set for yourself?

Howard’s Format from You Can’t Teach What You Don’t Know (73-85): 

Honesty: The Prince’s mother wants to find the perfect wife for her son. The woman he marries has to be able to pass a test in order to marry him. How would you feel if your mother chose who you were to marry even if you already knew who you wanted to marry?

Empathy: Has there ever been a time in your life when you weren’t able to make a decision for yourself? How did that decision affect you? Have you ever had to make a decision based solely because of your social-class?

Advocacy: The Prince wanted the maid to be his wife, so he worked hard to make sure that she would be one day. If there is something that you are wanting, work hard and never give up.

Action: Make a list of goals that you want to achieve and start a timeframe in which you want to have those goals completed by.


Reviewed by Tyler Overy, Ohio Northern University teacher candidate