Today’s PPBF selection is from another one of our April Author-Palooza authors – Jennifer Ward. If you like this book, I suggest you read others in this series. Set to the tune of There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly, they are great fun!

There Was an Odd Princess Who Swallowed a Pea

Written by Jennifer Ward, Illustrated by Lee Calderon

Marshall Cavendish Children, September, 2011

Suitable for: Ages 4+

Themes/Topics: Princesses, Rhyming, Silliness, Fractured Fairy Tale, Humor

Opening/Synopsis: From KirkusThe exuberant princess in this tale begins her day by swallowing the titular pea, which had been under her mattress. From there, the things she ingests get more farcical and less foodlike (as well as a lot bigger)… Observant readers will pick out items and characters that belong in other fairy tales—Cinderella’s glass slipper, the Frog Prince and a prince who could be from Rapunzel’s tale. Spot-on rhymes and rhythms keep the pages turning.

Activities: Jennifer’s website includes a Lesson plan for another book in this series – There Was an Old Monkey who Swallowed a Frog. Many of the activity ideas in that plan could also be applied to There Was an Odd Princess. For example, comparing Ward’s tale to the original. Jennifer’s website indicates that a lesson plan specifically for this title is coming soon, so check back. Another activity my daughter enjoyed was finding all the references to traditional princess tales. There is also a scroll at the bottom of each page revealing the previous items the princess has eaten, so kids can “read” along and chime in as the story unfolds.

Why I Like This Book: This book is just plain fun to read out loud. Even though it’s a spinoff of the popular song, it is unexpected and fresh in its approach. When a book spoofs two well-known stories, you don’t expect to be surprised, but I was! The illustrations go right along with the hilarity of the text. My daughter belly-laughed when I read it to her. Now we want to get the other books Jennifer has written in this series and compare them all to see which one is our favorite.

For more books with resources please visit author Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog and find the tab for Perfect Picture Books.

Categories: 12 x 12 in 2012, Authors, Perfect Picture Book Friday, Picture Books, Rhyming · Tags: , , , , , , ,



  1. I’m so excited to share this book with my early learners! I can’t wait to hear their responses to this book! Thanks Julie!

  2. Sounds like a fun book. I am lucky enough to have a three-year old princess who will also swallow just about anything, so I’m sure she’ll love this.

  3. What a cool idea for a book! Going to check out Ms. Ward’s website!

  4. I just got this out of the library and can’t wait to sit down and read it aloud.

  5. I would love to read it for all the same reasons, Julie…I’m going to look this one up in our children’s library today. Thanks for the post…and my new “BrainBurps” app!

  6. Julie, we have this book. It’s fantastic! Ivy loved it and I still love to read it. Thanks for adding it to the list. It is super! 🙂

  7. That sounds fantastic. I’m going to have to stop buying novels and get me some pbs 🙂

  8. This looks like such fun! It sounds as though it would make a zany English-style pantomime-type play, as well! Thank you! (And as always happens on PPBF, my reading pile gets larger…)

  9. Sounds like a fun book! Can’t wait to get it.

  10. Haha, this really does sound like a lot if fun!

  11. Sounds like a fun book. Kids love those fairy tale mash-ups

  12. What a great retelling of a wonderful story. So glad you shared it. Sounds like it is great fun!

  13. Laughing out loud is the highest compliment for a humorous story! This books sounds like it’s appealing on multiple levels. Thanks, Julie!

  14. Sounds like such a cute book…especially for those of us with boys (only) and who crave a bit of girliness!

  15. I so love books that produce belly laugh from kiddos! I’ve seen the old lady who swallowed a fly (not sure if that’s the title), so this one sounds like a great companion book to that. Will look out for this one, thanks for sharing!

  16. This looks like so much fun and a story that could set off some interesting ideas for kids to keep the story going. I’m adding it to my library list. Great pick Julie!
    A2ZMommy and What’s In Between

  17. We loved “There Was an Old Monkey Who Swallowed a Frog.” I didn’t realize it was part of a series.

  18. Are you kidding me????? How can all my favorites be in one book????
    Princesses, Rhyming, Silliness….ESPECIALLY SILLINESS!!!…Fractured Fairy Tale, Humor????
    And a monkey swallowing a frog, to boot! Paydirt!
    Thanks for making my day! Alas, I hate to admit it, but I have a couple of overdue books and it won’t let me put these on hold. I’m such a slacker to owe a fine.
    There was an old woman who owed a small fine
    She wouldn’t return her checkouts in time
    She was barred from all books until money was paid
    She was so sad and weepy…completely dismayed.
    So she made a decision and swallowed a fly…
    And you know the rest, so I’ll tell you good-bye!

  19. I’m finally getting around to reading and commenting on last weeks (and the week before) PPBF entries.:( Don’t know if I will get to all of them before I have to start on the new posts tomorrow…but I will do as many as I can.

    I’m glad I made it over to yours! Such a fun book…kids will love the rhyme and the silliness.
    My three year old grandson had me reading “Green Eggs and Ham” for breakfast, lunch and dinner. 🙂 So I know that little ones love books that are fun and funny!

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