****The Prince of the Pond
Otherwise known as
The Fawg Pin
by Donna Jo Napoli
illustrated by Judith Byron Schachner
Reviewed January 10, 2005.
Dutton Children’s Books, New York, 1992. 151 pages.
Available at Sembach Library (JF NAP).
Whatever happened to the Frog Prince while he was a frog? This
book tells the story of a young female frog who meets a fine-looking big
and strong male frog who acts very strangely. He doesn’t seem to
know how to control his tongue, which keeps falling out of his mouth, and
won’t let him pronounce certain words. At first, he doesn’t know
how to swim. He jumps on the head of a water snake and frightens it
off. He wants to take care of their tadpoles after they have babies.
And he gives his frog wife a name, Jade, after a jewel she’s never heard
of. All very unfroglike behavior.
Jade never does figure out what happens to her wonderful “Fawg Pin”
when the princess kisses him, though the reader will understand right from
the start, when he appeared sitting in the clothes of a human. This
book tells how he learns to live in the pond, protects his family from the
hag (who likes to eat frog legs), and teaches Jade about love.
The first book I read in this series was Jimmy, the Pickpocket of the Palace,
about what happens when one of Pin’s frog children becomes human.
Now, Donna Jo Napoli has written a third book in the series, so I decided
to take the opportunity to read all three books to my fifth grade son.
They are short (This one’s eleven short chapters), have plenty of pictures,
and are great fun. I always enjoy stories that look at a fairy tale
from a new angle. This one gives you a frog’s-eye view.
Reviews of other books by Donna Jo Napoli:
Jimmy: The Pickpocket of the Palace
Gracie: The Pixie of the Puddle
Daughter of Venice
The Great God Pan
Copyright © 2005 Sondra Eklund.
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