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*****= An all-time favorite
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****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
Three Days
Fish Girl
Daughter of Venice
The Great God Pan

Copyright © 2005 Sondra Eklund.  All rights reserved.

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