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Children's Fiction Humorous Stories

Princess Pistachio

illustrated by Marie-Louise Gay

translated by Jacob Homel

Pajama Press Inc.
Initial publish date
Oct 2014
Humorous Stories, Imagination & Play, Siblings, Chapter Books
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Oct 2014
    List Price

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Where to buy it

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 5 to 8
  • Grade: k to 3


When she receives a mysterious crown for her birthday, Pistachio realizes that she is really an abducted princess. But this only makes her parents sigh, her friends laugh, and her baby sister Penny insist on "playing princess," too. When Pistachio's angry wish makes Penny disappear, she needs a princess's courage to get her back.

Pistachio has always known she was a princess. When a mysterious gift turns up on her birthday, she’s sure it’s only a matter of time before her real parents, the king and queen of Papua, arrive to take her away. In the meantime, though, she still has to eat her spinach and get up for school. Her friends still laugh when she wears her new gold crown to class. And her annoying baby sister insists on “Pwaying pwincess,” too. When Pistachio’s angry wish makes Penny disappear, she will need the courage of a true princess to get her back.

Princess Pistachio was translated from French by Jacob Homel, the son of award-wining author and illustrator Marie-Louise Gay. As Pistachio and Penny learn, great things happen when family sticks together.


About the authors

MARIE-LOUISE GAY has achieved international acclaim as an author and illustrator of children’s books. She has won many awards, including two Governor General’s awards, the Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver Award, the Vicky Metcalf Award and the Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award. She has also been nominated for the prestigious Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award and the Hans Christian Andersen Award. Marie-Louise’s very popular Stella and Sam series has been translated into more than fifteen languages and is loved by children all over the world. Her recent books include Any Questions? and Short Stories for Little Monsters. She lives in Montreal.

Marie-Louise Gay's profile page

Born, bred and raised in Montreal, Jacob Homel has translated or collaborated in the translation of a number of works, including Toqué: Creators of a Quebec Gastronomy, The Last Genêt and The Weariness of the Self. In 2012, he won the JI Segal Translation Prize for his translation of A Pinch of Time. He shares his time between Montreal and Asia.

Jacob Homel's profile page


  • Unknown, OLA Best Bet

Editorial Reviews

Praise for Princess Pistachio

2014 OLA Best Bet selection

★ STARRED REVIEW "The skillful combination of text and illustrations addresses many serious concerns of early childhood - and even of parenthood - without straying from the book's tone of fun and frivolity. (Among the issues so adeptly addressed are adoption, sibling relationships, classmate rejection and a missing child.) The characters are pen-and-ink creations tinted with bright watercolors; Pistachio's russet braid and freckled face are reminiscent of Pippi Longstocking and the author's own Stella. Playful names (Pistachio's teacher is Mrs. Trumpethead) add to the fun. A playful and entertaining take on children's perennial questions surrounding ideas of personhood, family and community."—Kirkus Reviews Starred Review

"Young readers transitioning to chapter books will be enthralled by Pistachio and her big personality and imagination....A wonderful new offering from Gay to take her picture book readers to the next stage"—School Library Journal

"[V]ividly portrays the characters’ emotions in both the text and the many colorful ink-and-wash illustrations. Sometimes charming and sometimes funny, the story is as satisfying as its protagonist’s name: Pistachio Shoelace."—Booklist

"Princess Pistachio is a beautifully written and luminously illustrated book which will help children make the transition to chapter books...Highly Recommended."—CM Magazine

"Gay’s tale is a clever twist on the many, many secret-destiny stories that haunt children’s literature (not to mention children’s own imaginations)."—Quill & Quire

"Marie-Louise Gay's whimsical artwork has delighted children since her 1984 picture book, Lizzy's Lion. Princess Pistachio is an early reader that will appeal to ages 4-8."—Winnipeg Free Press

"Princess Pistachio is an early reader that will be enjoyed by budding princes and princesses – especially those who took a liking to Stella, Sam, Caramba, and other characters of Gay’s imagining."—National Reading Campaign

"...Marie-Louise Gay and Pajama Press have just created an Anne of Green Gables for the very youngest of youngCanLit readers, and one who will poke at our hearts and funny bones alike."—CanLit for LittleCanadians

"This is a welcome early reader that is sure to earn even more fans for the very popular and charming Marie-Louise Gay."—Sal's Fiction Addiction


Other titles by Marie-Louise Gay

Other titles by Jacob Homel

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