La vera principessa sul pisello

(The true princess and the pea) Book not yet available in English


“There, that’s a true story!” This is what Andersen confesses to his readers in the last line of The Princess and the Pea. Well, the writer of this book, Octavia Monaco, has questioned Andersen’s ending sentence since she was a child, and for this reason she decided to rewrite the story. Thus, Monaco creates an intelligent and independent princess who discovers the trick and chooses freedom. And she really lives happily ever after.


In this story, there is a prince who always finds some flaws in the girls he meets, and who tests them to see if they are really worthy of him. With the help of his mother, he tests one of these girls by putting a pea under her mattress to understand whether she is up to his majesty. But the real princess discovers the trick and chooses freedom: thus, she decides to sacrifice the comfort of a royal life, and she leaves the palace with her friends and sisters. This text reverses the classic fairy tale and enhances the female figure of the real princess, who is intelligent, witty and cannot stand the constraints of a pre-set royal life. The formula “and she lives happily ever after” remains, but the use of the singular person underlines that the female protagonist does not need a prince to find happiness. She rather chooses freedom, friendship, and sisterhood, all elements that we can glimpse in the end of the story.

Edited by: Centro MeTRa (Italy)

Author(s): Monaco, Octavia

Illustrator(s): Monaco, Octavia

Publisher: Orecchio acerbo

City: Roma

Year: 2008

Pages: 24

ISBN: 9788889025635

Age Range: 3 - 5

Language: IT

Original Language: IT

Keywords: Positive role model, Princess/prince, Rewriting

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