HMH Books for Young Readers, 2013. 978-0547942155
Synopsis: 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. – from Amazon.com
Why I picked it up: I ran across the title looking at some other books for the blog, and I love new takes on old favorites.
Why I finished it: I am a fan of self-rescuing princesses, ladies that are not content to wait in their towers for a prince to come and save them because, let’s face it, it could be a while. Princess Imogene falls into this category because even though she is turned into a frog she isn’t going to sit around a feel sorry for herself; no, she’s going to do something about it, by golly! Mind you, as a frog she can’t do much for herself, but Imogene’s wit and desire to be a good princess (regardless of the fact that she would rather not read the book about how to be a good princess) make her a likable and engaging character. Her observations about the people and the world around her gradually change as the book moves forward, giving her some insight as to how non-royalty lives and how the capacity to change can make the difference as to whether one is really truly good. Vande Velde’s story is cute and quirky, much like its main character and provides a unique twist to the traditional fairy tale that proves there is not always a tried and true solution to breaking a spell. Good for reading aloud or silently, Frogged is an engaging tale that is a great addition to the fractured fairy tale canon.
Other related materials: Rump: The True Story of Rumpelstiltskin by Liesel Shurtliff; A Tangle of Knots by Lisa Graff; Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library by Chris Grabenstein; The Hero’s Guide to Storming the Castle by Christopher Healy; Whatever After books by Sarah Mlynowski; Tales of the Wide-Awake Princess books by E.D. Baker; How to Train Your Dragon books by Cressida Cowell; The Enchanted Forest Chronicles by Patricia C. Wrede; The Never Girls books by Kiki Thorpe, illustrated by Jana Christy; Tuesdays at the Castle by Jessica Day George; Wednesdays in the Tower by Jessica Day George; The Sisters Grimm books by Michael Buckley, illustrated by Peter Ferguson