THE PRINCESS AND THE FROG by A. Vesey

THE PRINCESS AND THE FROG

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The title may mislead readers into thinking this is a story they've heard before. In Vesey's version, a frog who is nothing but a frog gets a free ride when he makes a deal with a Princess. He agrees to dive to the bottom of the pond to retrieve her gold ball if she will bring him back to the Palace to live (""Pond life has its limitations,"" he informs her). The wise Queen tells her daughter that they must cater to the frog's every wish, for surely he is in reality a prince whom the Princess will marry. The frog's requests are many, and he lives in high style indeed: he is waited on by his own footman, dines on turbot in lobster sauce, goes ballooning in the Royal Balloon and yachting on the Royal Yacht. But the Princess and the rest of the Royal household begin to lose patience with the demanding houseguest (especially Monsieur Hollandaise, the chef, who is so fed up that he wants to put frog's legs on the menu). Finally the Queen remembers that frogs must be kissed before they turn into princes. Although it offends her sensibilities, the Princess obliges, and is angered to the point of tears when her efforts leave her with only a ""rather fat, bad-tempered frog."" Worse yet, the frog tells her that he is already married and has a great many little frogs whom he'd like to bring to live in the Palace. A creative twist to a tried-and-true tale, very cleverly executed. Vesey's illustrations perfectly capture the Princess's frustration, her bulldog's skepticism, the frog's haughtiness. And there are some exquisite details to the pictures: lush Oriental rugs, patterned Chinese vases, elaborate royal costumes.

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1985
Publisher: Atlantic Monthly--dist. by Little, Brown