{Review} FROGGED by Vivian Vande Velde

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FROGGED by Vivian Vande Velde!

O P E N I N G   H O O K:
"ONE SHOULD ALWAYS STRIVE," Princess Imogene read in The Art of Being a Princess (third revised edition), "to be the sort of princess about whom it is said: 'She was as good as she was beautiful.'"

"Ugh," Princess Imogene said.  She slammed the book shut--hating it already  based on the first sentence.  Hating the book, hating the writer, hating princesses in general, and most of all, hating herself. 
(Page 13, US e-ARC edition;
changes may occur before the final version releases)

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.
C O V E R   D E S I G N:

It's fun!  I would pick this up as a kid.  I liked the way the majority of the cover is taken up by an oval resembling a mirror that "reflects" of Imogene both as herself and as a frog.  At each corner, there is a smaller character featured who plays a part in Imogene's story.

The script scroll proclaiming the title and author has a very fairy tale feel to it, and you can instantly tell that this is some version of The Princess and the Frog, diluted as it may be.
O F F I C I A L   I N F O:

Author: Vivian Vande Velde
Release Date: April 2, 2013
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children's Books
Received: For Review

One should be able to say of a princess “She was as good as she was beautiful,” according to The Art of Being a Princess (third revised edition), which the almost-thirteen-year-old Princess Imogene is supposed to be reading. Not feeling particularly good, or all that beautiful, she heads for a nearby pond, where, unfortunately, a talking frog tricks her into kissing him. No prince appears, as one might expect. Instead, the princess turns into a frog herself! Thus launches a funny, wonderfully spun fractured fairy tale in which Imogene wonders if she will be forever frogified.