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Wayne-von Königslöw, Andrea
Illustrated by Michael Martchenko
Toronto, HarperCollins, 1993. 32pp, laminated boards,
$12.95, ISBN 0-00-223895-0. CIP

Subject Heading:
Frogs-Juvenile fiction.

Preschool-grade 2 / Ages 4-7

Reviewed by Jane Robinson

Volume 22 Number 1
1994 January / February

Frogs is a "fairytale gone funny," an increasingly popular genre that uses a traditional fairy-tale theme and gives it a twist.

In this story Lucy, who loves frogs, starts a town furor when her innocent goodnight kiss turns one frog into a (seemingly) real prince. The once-serene neighbourhood pond becomes a major attraction and before Lucy can figure out how to save the frogs from this inhuman fate, people are changing frogs into princes at an incredible rate. It doesn't take long before everyone, including the princes themselves (who are still frogs at heart), grows tired of the whole predicament. Lucy's ingenuity solves the problem with a slight c hange to the original "magic" formula and ... poof! it's happily ever after.

Award-winning illustrator Michael Martchenko is familiar to readers of Canadian children's books, frequently teaming up with Robert Munsch. His full-colour, full-page illustrations in  Frogs, which often start on the adjoining text page, are entertaining and lively. The frogs themselves are easily the most interesting and original part of the book, absolutely delightful with their comical goofiness. Readers missed them when the princes took over. The text is easy to read: Wayne-von Königslöw uses an accessible vocabulary and style that works well for either read-aloud or independent reading.

It's unfortunate that  Frogs is not available in paperback at a more attractive price. The hard cover price is still reasonable at $12.95, but I am reluctant to recommend it at a time when personal, school and public collections are dealing with shrinking budgets.

Jane Robinson is a former teacher in Winnipeg, Manitoba

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