But please kiss me once on my head to cast off a witch’s mean spell.

Ah, I don’t know whether this was genius or if I should just laugh at how ridiculous the combination of these two fairytales is. Beauty and the Pea by Hilary Robinson and illustrated by Simona Sanfilippo is exactly the story you think it is. And I enjoyed it immensely. In fact, I’m still kind of giggling about the whole thing. I mean, this story was adorable and silly and just, funny.

The Pea

If you’re anything like me, the first thing you’ll probably wonder is how, exactly, does the story of The Princess and the Pea play a role in Beauty and the Beast? Well, basically, to break his curse the Beast must be kissed by a Princess, not just any kind and loving girl. In fact, there’s not really a lot behind his curse other than the fact that a witch decided to be mean for some reason.

While I’ll say this makes the story lack in regards to an overall message, it was certainly an interesting spin. And, you guessed it, the Beast uses the “pea under the bed” trick to figure out if she’s a Princess.


I did really like the look of this book. Simona Sanfilippo is an absolutely amazing artist who drew some of the most adorable characters I’ve ever seen. The setting is gorgeous, the colors pop out. Beast was, perhaps, my absolute favorite. Ironically, I loved him more-so in Beast form than I did in his human form. He was just, somehow, cuter. Either way, I don’t think I could have asked for better artwork on this one. The brightness of the story alone is truly breathtaking.

A Kiss and a Pea

I still find the entire premise of this book somewhat hilarious. There’s an innocent quality to it all that I can appreciate. In the end, I do kind of wish there was more of a message to this story, though. As it stands, it’s basically about a boy who was cursed for no reason. Then he is kind to a merchant and requests a favor after the merchant slights him. Beauty’s entire role is reduced to whether or not she felt comfortable sleeping on a mattress that had a pea under it, which is kind of disappointing.

I did like the way peas were incorporated into the story as something more than something to hide under her bed, though. All in all, not a bad story. But not amazing, either.


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