Three Perfect Peaches

by Cynthia C. DeFelice and Mary Demarsh
pictures by Irene Trivas
© 1995

The Story

In this spin on a time-honored plot, a king promises his ailing daughter’s hand in marriage to anyone who can grant her wish for three perfect peaches.


Winner of the Anne Izard Storytellers’ Choice Award
A Best Book of 1995, New York Library

A Note from the Author

To me, folktales contain everything that makes a wonderful story. They are short, funny, wise, and earthy. They have an exciting plot that starts right on the first page and is satisfactorily resolved on the last page. The good guys get rewarded and the bad guys get punished!

This story was especially fun because I first heard it and eventually retold it in book form along with one of my very best friends, Mary DeMarsh. We both continue to tell it, and never get tired of it. Irene Trivas’s gorgeous illustrations brought out all of the humor and drama we could have hoped for.

I wish I had a nickel for every time a child has told me, “I loved the part when the King has to kiss his horse’s behind.” Because, of course, it’s my favorite part, too!


“Abundant energy, breezy pacing and kid-pleasing ‘gross-out’ humor mark this auspicious publishing debut of The Wild Washerwomen Storytellers….A fruitful merger of three peachy talents.” – Publisher’s Weekly

“Three Perfect Peaches is a French folktale with classic ingredients including a magical crone by the roadside and an enchanted silver whistle. But the confection is totally surprising and funny. No other romantic tale ends with a king kissing his horse’s behind. Nor are many as humorously or prettily illustrated!” – Midwest Book Review

“The long folktale, told in sprightly, colloquial language, has a slightly naughty ending that will amuse youngsters. Loose and active, the watercolors have a farcical side of their own.” – Horn Book

Three Perfect Peaches : A French Folktale
by Cynthia DeFelice and Mary Demarsh, Illustrated by Irene Trivas.
Reading level: Ages 4-8
Hardcover – (March 1995) Orchard Books; ISBN: 0531068722