The Princess and the Pea

Hans Christian Andersen; Illustrated by Maja Dusíková

Currently reprinting - due 20 Mar 2025

Quick Look

A young girl claiming to be a princess is put to the test: will she feel the pea underneath the pile of mattresses? A classic fairy tale with beautiful, soft illustrations.

294 x 219 mm
Floris Books
Picture Books
colour illustrations
Age Range:
From 3 to 6 years
28 pages
Publication date:
19 Jan 2012


The prince is looking for a true princess to be his wife, but all the girls he meets are too rude, too vain or too greedy. One stormy night a young lady knocks on the palace door claiming to be a princess, so the queen decides to put her to the test. Will she feel the pea underneath the huge pile of mattresses?

This classic fairy tale is wonderfully brought to life with soft, colourful illustrations by popular illustrator Maja Dusíková.


'Dusikova's pictures are full of soft edges and soft colours, with pretty architectual details and an assortment of castle denizens, including a pair of cats and a toddler in a jester's motley. A rendering to bring a smile or possibly a giggle.'
-- Kirkus Review

'This version of The Princess and the Pea, published by Floris Books, has everything, absolutely everything you could wish for ... The well-known story is told eloquently and magically, with no post modern twists, just classical elegance. But it is Maja Dusikova's illustrations which make this a book sing. Beautiful, graceful, delicate, detailed, soft and luxurious, Dusikova's illustrations have tip-top fairy tale quality. Imagine a rainbow coloured incarnation of Hans Christian Andersen Award winning Lisbeth Zwerger and you'll get some sense of Dusikova's style. An utterly delightful book, I don’t know of any more charming version of this tale, traditionally told.'

'beautifully illustrated, in a gentle and eye-catching style. It is told simply, yet brings the story to life in new ways ... Children will enjoy putting their own words to this story and will be empowered to do so, even if they cannot read, by such humorous, soft and detailed pictures.'
-- Early Years Educator

'This is a wonderful version of the well-known tale, illustrated with charm and humour, with images that feel expansive and expressive in their detail.'
-- Juno


Hans Christian Andersen (1805-1875) was a Danish author and writer of children's fairy tales, such as The Little Mermaid, Thumbelina and The Ugly Duckling, which have become much-loved classics around the world.

Maja Dusíková was born in Slovakia in 1946. She has illustrated over forty books for children. She lives with her family in Florence, Italy.


Do you love fairy tales as much as we do? You'll love some of the following picture books and collections:
Goldilocks and the Three Bears illustrated by Gerda Muller
Favourite Tales from Hans Christian Andersen -- a collection of Hans Christian Andersen best-loved tales, beautifully illustrated, including The Little Mermaid, The Fir Tree, The Swineherd, The Little Match-seller, and The Emperor's New Suit
Favourite Grimm's Tales -- sumptuously illustrated, this collection includes Little Red Riding Hood; The Frog Prince; Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Rumpelstiltskin and many others
Hansel and Gretel by the Brothers Grimm
The Hut in the Forest by the Brothers Grimm
Little Red Riding-Hood by the Brothers Grimm
Sleeping Beauty by the Brothers Grimm

If you want to know more about the background to fairy tales, their recurring themes, characters, and significance, you might be interested in these books:
The Wisdom of the Fairy Tales by Rudolf Meyer
The Power of Stories: Nurturing Children's Imagination and Consciousness by Horst Kornberger

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