The Frog Prince, Continued

by Jon Scieszka and Steve Johnson

Dark-toned illustrations and a slightly sinister mood balance with satirical humor... read more

Dark-toned illustrations and a slightly sinister mood balance with satirical humor in this sophisticated alternative version of the frog prince folktale. In this account, the Prince's metamorphosis from amphibian to human is not followed by a "happily ever after" relationship with the Princess. Indeed, the conversion is no sooner complete than the two become mired in their dismal alliance. The pop-eyed Prince, pictured in hilarious frog-like postures, mopes about the castle in a state of depression while the Princess complains about his furniture-hopping habits. A culminating argument, during which the Princess states that perhaps they "would both be better off" if the Prince were still a frog, inspires the Prince to set off on a quest for a witch who will turn him back into his true self. He runs into the forest, only to encounter three harrowing hags on sabbatical from their roles in other tales (Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, and Hansel and Gretel). In keeping with the pattern of the original tale, the ending is happy, if unexpected. Although the book's format suggests a young audience, the knowledge of traditional folktales required to fully appreciate the story make it most appropriate for older children, who will also enjoy the many visual "froggy" jokes incorporated into the illustrations. (Ages 5-10)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 1991

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