MaiStoryBook Library: La Princesa and the Pea + Princess and the Pea *Marble Run* Craft

Introducing this bilingual, Peruvian-themed tale of Love featured in this week’s MaiStoryBook Library Collection:

“La Princesa and the Pea” by Susan Middleton Elya and Juana Martinez-Neal

Book Synopsis and Review

Are you familiar with the tale of the Princess and the Pea?? Young princess, suspicious queen, itty bitty pea, a mountain of mattresses…Well if you have, then prepare for a fun, Latino twist on the classic fairytale ~and if you havn’t heard of this story, then you are in for a treat! In this delightful bilingual retelling, Spanish and English words are intertwined throughout the text. When el Príncipe sees the love of his life for the very first time, he knows she is the one he will marry. However, his mama, la reina, is scheming a secret plan to test if this la niña is truly the one for her son. But, could it be that the prince just might have a sneaky plan of his own…

The beauty of bilingual books is in their bridging of languages.  Especially for children learning a new language, the mix of languages helps them access text and content~ enabling them to draw upon both of their sources of language knowledge. And for monolingual readers, bilingual books introduce them to new vocabulary and the concept of different languages and ways of communicating. Plus the  illustrations in bilingual picture books help little ones to decode meaning from words they are unfamiliar with helping them associate images with text. And this book has such colorful, bright pictures~ that are actually representatvive of the vibratn art and culture of Peru, a country in South America! Be prepared to *fall in love* with this sweet little tale of romance and enchantment.

Vocabulary List

*Included in the front of the book is a glossary of English translations and pronunciations of the Spanish words in the text*

  1. Hassle (p. 6) a bother or causing too much trouble
  2. Lofty (p. 10) very big
  3. Lilt (p. 18) cheerful, happy tone
  4. Trudged (p. 21) walk slowly with heavy steps
  5. Detect (p. 24) discover or notice

Themes/Main ideas

  1. Read the original fairytale version and compare and contrast similarities differences. You can make a venn diagram, or simply flip through the book and engage in conversation~
  2. Introduce aspects of culture and art in Peru ~ point out the different patterns on the clothing ~ review the Spanish words with your child.

YouTube Video: Guided Shared-Reading Read Aloud Example

Example of a shared-reading, interactive Read Aloud of “La Princesa and the Pea” – how to subtly introduce the vocabulary list words within the text, ask guided questions, and spark conversation!

*~Check it Out~*

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Princess and the *Pea-Marble* Run Activity

There’s nothing more satisfying, or sensually pleasing, than falling into bed after a long day of work *or fun!* ~ snuggling under layers of soft quilts and silky sheets, your head caressed by a fluffy cloud of a pillow, the warmth of a loved one *or a stuffie* wrapped in your arms *or you warm in their arms,* the tender mold of the mattress arching with the curve of your body as you settle in for a good night’s sleep~ and the blanket of nighttime darkness rolling over your eyes like waves lulling you to sleep. *Yawn!* Ahhh, it makes me want to drift off to dreamland just thinking about it. Bedtime routines, especially with little ones, can be quite extensive ~ think the glass of water or warm milk at just the right temperature, the bedtime story *not just once, but at least 5 times*, the careful, routine tucking into bed in the *exact right way*, the frantic search for the favorite stuffie before the child vaults out of bed and undoes all of the *tucking in*, and at last, the best part of all, the good night hug and kiss, and *sweet dreams* wishes for all. Now imagine, a bed 20 mattresses tall? That must be some bedtime routine~ Although, all peas and pitchforks aside, it must be rather comfy. Well, for this week’s craft, inspired by our story, prepare to make a 20 mattress board-bed of your very own ~ peas in all ~ to create an all-time favorite~ La Princesa and the Pea themed *Marble Run!*


  • Shoebox lid
  • 1 piece of colored paper that fits to cover the inside of the lid
  • 19 strips of paper to make the 20 mattresses ( 1 mattress coming from the background paper on the lid)
  • Bottle glue
  • Glue gun
  • Peas / marble
  • Strips of cardboard: 7-10 pieces
  • Scissors


  • Glue the larger piece of paper, the same size as the lid, to the inside of the lid.
  • Leave a strip of the background paper bare and showing at the bottom, for mattress #1, and then drizzle the rest of the paper with glue
  • Use the bottle-glue to glue on the 19 other strips of colored paper for the 19 other mattresses. The mattresses should reach to the top of the lid.

  • Take the cardboard strips and cut them into different lengths to create the maze barriers.
  • Arrange the strip in any maze configuration you’d like (see the photos for example)
  • Use the hot glue gun to glue the cardboard strips by their edge so that they are standing up on their side.

  • Allow to dry. Meanwhile, open the can of peas (or take out your marble).
  • Drop peas at the top of the maze and tilt the lid to navigate the peas to the bottom of the bed.

Enjoy your Princess and the *Pea-Marble* Run Activity!

  • Send one, two, or even three+ peas through the maze at once and race to see which one reaches the bottom first.
  • Try different pathways to the bottom of the maze.
  • Share the craft with friends and family members and use it as a prompt to retell and share the story.

*~Overall, have fun creating your own *Princess and the “Pea-Marble” Run* Activity, and I hope you and your little ones enjoy this whimsical activity board! Please comment below  – tag me on Instagram @MaiStoryBookLibrary  – or post on FaceBook to share your photos of your own *Princess and the “Pea-Marble” Runs*  and your own reading adventures! I’d love to hear from you!~*

*Check Back on Next Friday for our New Reading Adventure*

*~Until next time, Happy Reading~*

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