Dog meets frog in this amusing retelling of “The Frog Prince,” which uses photographs of costumed English bulldogs against computer-generated backgrounds to illustrate the fairy tale.
In this version, Princess Zelda is the pampered princess pooch, dressed in brocade ball gowns and jewels as she plays with her favorite golden ball. When her ball lands in a mud puddle, a helpful frog (actually another bulldog in a frog costume) appears with a promise to rescue the ball if Princess Zelda takes the frog into her life as her BFF (best friend forever). The plot follows that of the familiar story, with the frog sharing the food and pillow of the disgusted princess. After a peaceful night’s sleep next to each other on a golden pillow, the frog reverts to a dog and Zelda changes her mind, declaring that she and the handsome canine prince were meant to be together always. The story is told with a contemporary flavor, using abbreviations and expressions that don’t quite match up with the lavish, Renaissance-style costumes. The depictions of the frog prince are a drawback, because the dog in a frog costume doesn’t clearly show that the dog has been changed into a frog by a magic spell.
Without a warts-and-all depiction of the odious frog and his subsequent transformation into a handsome prince, the fairy tale loses its bite. (Picture book/fairy tale. 4-8)