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Happy Book Birthday (one day late!)
FROGGED by Vivian Vande Velde!
Looking for a fun, new adventure loosely based on a classic fairy tale? FROGGED might be just the book for you. In an E.D.Baker/Disney-esque spin, kissing a frog has a way of rebounding and turning oneself into a frog. Unlike the former two, however, the frog turns back into a human, leaving his savior as a frog in his place. Harry is no prince, either, but a wainwright’s son. He doesn’t care that he’s turned the royal princess into a frog, either. He’s from a poor family overrun with kids. Why shouldn’t he have a little luck, too?
Our plucky princess, Imogene, refuses to curse another human into frog form in order to save herself. Instead, she sets off to find the witch who cursed Harry, only to find that it can’t be undone. Imogene will remain a frog unless she can get someone else to kiss her and transfer the enchantment. As she tries to make her way home, she’s captured by a couple of teenagers named Luella and Bertie, who are running away to be actors and want to add a talking frog to their act. Imogene has no way out, especially when the troupe’s owner realizes that Imogene is who she says but doesn’t care, so long as a talking frog brings in the money. Will Imogene ever find a way to return home and become a human frog again?
FROGGED is great for middle-grade readers and will appeal to children as they follow Imogene on her journey. There are a couple of small adult elements slipped in, but they’re done in a way that kids won’t notice or wonder about, but adults will pick up on. They can relate to Imogene, who doesn’t want to read about a stuff book about how to be a princess that her mother’s making her study. They’ll feel bad when, only trying to help, she’s forced to give her first kiss away to a frog, who turns out to be a mean boy. They’ll feel as mad as Imogene does when she’s tricked, handfed lies, and held against her will. FROGGED is a fun, light read about a princess forced to masquerade as a frog after being caught up in an unfortunate curse.