"Taryn couldn't sleep because she was worried about her parents, just as she told Kevin. A true princess is tender in her heart, not in her body. And no pea can measure that."

Duty, honor, love, tradition, stereotypes (and the breaking of them), feminism. veracity, and tenderness all come together in this familiar and well-told tale of a prince who is expected to marry a princess—or a woman of a high-ranking family. His mother, Lady Victoria, arranges a meeting between Prince Kevin and the mayor's daughter, Dorothy, at Christmas time. While Victoria plans a test of putting a pea under three mattresses to measure Dorothy's social standing, Dorothy practices a little lying in an untruth that she tells Kevin. Meanwhile, Kevin has met an eccentric marital prospect named Taryn. Taryn and her brother are invited by Kevin to stay at the palace overnight after they become stranded, and the reader, as well as the king, know that the prince and the capable stranger are an excellent match. After resisting the idea for a while, Lady Victoria is convinced of it as well after a talk with her husband.

The author—a specialist in mathematics and moral theology who works in insurance, financial math, and aspects of adult faith formation—has penned an enchanting twist on a timeless classic. This beautifully written and illustrated story for young people relates well that a person's value is intrinsic and demonstrated through virtues and genuine feeling rather than social rank. The term "princess" is used loosely to connote a woman of an upper social station or perhaps a Middle Ages concept of a princess: upper class, protected, and delicate. But the outcome of the story demonstrates that Prince Kevin's appropriate partner is truthful, capable, caring, and genuinely loving.

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