Yet another throwback to the days of the fairy-tale text, accompanied by separate full-page, full-color illustrations of...

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THE FROG PRINCESS

Yet another throwback to the days of the fairy-tale text, accompanied by separate full-page, full-color illustrations of individual incidents: in this case, an uninspired rendering with literal, loosely Bilibin-like pictures by Michael Hague. The storytelling has no grace, no vigor, no color: ""As soon as the prince fell asleep, the bride hopped out of her frog skin. This was not a frog at all, but rather Vasilisa the Wise, a beautiful princess."" Still, through the Tsar's three trials (his sons' brides must sew him a shirt, bake him a cake, and attend him at a banquet), it will do. But once Prince Ivan has lost the beautiful, clever Vasilisa (by prematurely destroying her frog skin), the complexities of his pursuit and rescue of her are so compressed, and so unpictured (nothing past Ivan consulting the Baba Yaga), that the finale becomes almost an afterthought, and certainly a letdown. Some children will probably respond to the high-color, exoticism, and solemnity--but even the detail is flaccid and generalized. The Bilibin version, now available again, merits at least equal consideration.

Pub Date: March 28, 1984

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Crowell

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 1984