MG Book Review: Frogged by Vivian Vande Velde

 Frogged

Writers face a unique challenge when they base their stories on fairy tales. If their story is close to the original, it’s called a “re-telling” and often is criticized as not being close enough. If the story is obviously intended to be different, it’s called “inspired by the original” but then is still criticized, usually because it’s not different enough. All of this misses the point. Whether a story is inspired or a re-telling of a fairy tale doesn’t matter, as long as it’s good. Frogged is good!

Princess Imogene is days away from her thirteenth birthday and not happy about it. She doesn’t think she’s good or beautiful enough to be a Princess. And worse still, she’s convinced that’s the reason her Mother has asked her to read the book The Art of Being a Princess. But she’s wrong. She does have what it takes. She’s beautiful and good. She’s something else too. She’s brave, and doesn’t know it.

Soon, that becomes important. A talking frog begs her for a kiss, because she’s beautiful. And she gives him one, because she’s kind. But it turns her into a frog, because he’s not a Prince. He’s a pauper who was cursed because he’s a thief. The only way to break the curse is to get a kiss from someone else, and pass the curse on. But Imogene won’t do that, because she’s good.

So begins the adventure in which she tries to find a way to reverse the curse without passing it on, gets captured by a band of traveling actors, performs as a talking frog, be-friends a young girl who needs her help, and finally frees herself of the curse—no spoilers here, by being brave.

Frogged is a fun story with some very appealing characters. If it turns out you like this story better than the original fairy tale the Frog Prince, so be it. Enjoy!


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