Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Sometimes All You Want Is a Frog Friend; Princess Discovers Kisses Can't Be Taken Back

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Sometimes All You Want Is a Frog Friend; Princess Discovers Kisses Can't Be Taken Back

Article excerpt

Byline: Brandy Hilboldt Allport

THE PRINCESS AND THE FROGS

Author: Veronica Bartles

Illustrator: Sala Palacious

Data: Balzar and Bray, $17.99; ages 4 to 8

One of the reasons young readers like a certain title is that they are "in the know" about it. "The Princess and the Frogs" is one of those stories. From the title, children can guess there is something going on that involves kissing and princes. Veteran story book readers know you have to kiss a lot of frogs to find a prince, right?

A twist on the usual plot makes today's selection a read-aloud winner. The princess in this book, whose name is Cassandra, does not want a prince. She wants a pet, a pet frog, to be exact.

Can you forecast where the problem might come in? Hint: What should Princess Cassandra not do under any circumstances if she wants her potential pets to remain worthy of the name Froggy? She can't kiss them, of course! In Fairy Tale Land, all kissed frogs transform themselves into princes. Call it a trope.

The Royal Pet Handler searched mountains and valleys, rivers and streams, until he discovered a little green frog with bumpy brown spots for the princess to love.

"He's perfect!" Cassandra declared.

The princess and the frog raced through the castle, jumped rope in the courtyard and sampled treats in the kitchen. After dinner, Cassandra tucked her new best friend into bed. "Good night, Froggy." She kissed his bumpy green head.

Whoosh!

The frog turned into a prince ...

She laughed, "Princes aren't pets. I want a frog!" And she sent him to work as the Royal Pastry Chef.

Due to the unavoidable though predictable turn of events, the Royal Pet Handler must scour the countryside for another frog. He finds one. This time, it is a shiny green frog. Cassandra and the frog spend the day leaping across the moat, gathering lilies from the pond and visiting the horses in the stables. …

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