The Frog Princess is written by E. D. Baker. It was published in 2002 by Bloomsbury. Baker’s website can be found here.
“Princess Emeralda isn’t exactly an ideal princess. Her laugh sounds like a donkey’s bray rather than tinkling bells, she trips over her own feet more often than she gracefully curtsies, and she hates the young Prince Jorge whom her mother hopes she will marry. But if Emma, (as she is called), ever thought to escape from her frustrating life, she never expected it to happen by kissing a frog!
One kiss from this frog who calls himself Prince Eadric, and Emma’s whole life turns upside down…”
So, apparently this book inspired the Disney film The Princess and the Frog. By “inspired,” I mean that Disney took the idea of the girl who kisses the frog turning into a frog (instead of the frog turning into a prince) and that’s pretty much it. The two really aren’t alike at all except for that.
I really enjoyed the twist of the kiss turning the girl/princess into a frog. It’s original, a great departure from the modern “Frog Prince” stories (interestingly enough, the original fairy tale had the frog turn back into a prince after the princess throws it against the wall, not through her kissing it), and is quite frankly a lot more interesting. It also allows more room for the princess to get involved in the action.
The characters were fresh (as in refreshing, not saucy) and funny and the world, though familiar in its magic and creatures, was not so familiar as to be boring or unoriginal. I loved the bat Li’l and the snake Fang; really, all the creatures Emma and Eadric run into are great.
While this is a stand-alone book, there are apparently a lot more books in the series and I’m looking forward to seeing where Baker takes Emma and Eadric next.
Recommended Age Range: 12+
Genre: Fantasy, Middle Grade, Fairy Tale
“Gross! Yuck!” I said, then spit until my mouth was dry.
“Good, huh?” asked Frog.
“Good? It was disgusting!” I wiped my tongue with my fingers trying to get rid of the taste.
“Be honest, now. What did it taste like?”
“Well,” I said reluctantly, “the plum was sour, but the fly was kind of sweet.”
“Ah-hah!” said Frog. “I knew you’d like it!”
“You are the essence of beauty,” he began, his eyes raised adoringly to the nymph’s face. “You are my sun, my moon, my stars.”
“You’re a frog,” she said, noticing him at last. “I don’t talk to frogs.”
“I’m not just a frog.”
“You look like a frog to me,” she said, the tiniest frown wrinkling her flawless brow.
A delightful book all around. I love the twist on the original story, and Emma’s adventures with Eadric are fun and familiar and lend a type of charm to the whole book. Baker is quickly becoming my new favorite queen of fairy tales.
You can buy this here: The Frog Princess (Tales of the Frog Princess)