Book Trailer Premiere: The Princess and the Petri Dish by Sue Fliess and Petros Bouloubasis

Happy Thursday! (Is it really Thursday? This week has felt like one very, very, very long year.) 

I am grateful author Sue Fliess dropped by virtually to finish my sentences. We discussed The Princess and the Petri Dish, Petro Bouloubasis, book trailers, and more. I wrote the words in purple, and Sue wrote the words in black. Thank you, Sue!

The Princess and the Petri Dish tells the story of Pippa, a young female scientist (who also happens to be a princess), who wants to make a name for herself in science, but all she has to show for her work is failed experiments. Until one day, when she is less than enthusiastic about eating her peas at dinner, she decides she will create a better, tastier pea:

And that’s when Pippa hatched a plan.

“I’ll grow a better pea!

With flavor so delicious

all the people will agree!”

…and she grows it in her petri dish, of course! She makes a pea that is part pea, part cocoa bean…and it’s a sweet hit! But as the demand for her peas grows, so do the pea vines, and the chaos of harvesting them, and soon, Pippa has a new problem to solve. 

Illustration Credit: Petro Bouloubasis
Petro Bouloubasis’ illustrations are amazing—especially with this book. I know you must hear that a lot from writers about their illustrators, but there’s more to it. Not only do I already adore Petros’s quirky and detailed art, but I got the chance to talk to him about the book while he was illustrating it. I was lucky enough to vacation in Greece this summer, and got to meet him in Athens, where he lives. While chatting with him over coffee, we discovered he was not familiar with the fairytale The Princess and the Pea. Oh my! He said he kept trying to understand why I would choose a princess to be growing a pea…but just went with it. We had a good laugh. After we talked about the fairytale, there was kind of an a-ha moment and I’m hopeful that helped the book make more sense to him. He was probably thinking I was a bit of a weirdo up until then! (which wouldn’t be entirely wrong) We often forget to take in these nuanced cultural differences because we get caught up in our own writing, etc. I’m grateful he still wanted to do the book, after how ridiculous the premise must have seemed to him!

Book trailers are now more important than ever. What a strange time we are living in, with schools closing, everyone washing their hands until they crack, and all the many cancellations…I’ve had to cancel or postpone many book-related events – as many have had to do, and this book pubs on April 1. I don’t know when I’ll get to share it in person, so this is my way of sharing some of the book, and my excitement over it, in the hopes that you’ll support your local indie bookseller and order it or put it on hold at your library for when we are let out again into the general public!

Did you know Pippa would probably work for the CDC if she could! I bet she’d be halfway to making a successful vaccine for the Coronavirus if she was a real person. But for now, we shall trust our scientific community to help us with that and get us through this time.

On April 1, 2020, you can buy this book! I’m staying hopeful that all of my April events for the book will still happen (library, bookstore, school visits), but if not, maybe you can read the book and if you like it, leave a review for it? That would sure be awesome.

Mr. Schu, you should have asked me if I’m making more Girls in STEM/STEAM books with Petros! As you know, he illustrated both Mary Had a Little Lab, Little Red Rhyming Hood, and I’m excited to tell you that we have another book in the works that will publish next year. About a certain enterprising young girl who happens to encounter three bears in her makerspace lab in the woods. Hope to announce it soon!

Thank you so much for having me on your blog today, Mr. Schu!

Thank you for being here today! 

Look for The Princess and the Petri Dish on April 1, 2020. 


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