A princess so beautiful that even the sun who had seen so much marveled every time it shone on her face is sure to command readers' (or better yet, listeners') attention as well; Tarcov's easy reading alternative -- ""Once upon a time there was a beautiful princess. She had a golden ball. . . ."" -- immediately blurs her appeal, and her frog's monotonously phrased demands, ""I want to be your friend and playmate. I want to sit with you at the supper table. I want to eat with you. . . . I want to sleep on your fine silk pillow"" -- though sure to fix the word want in a child's reading vocabulary, is just one example of Tarcov's violation of the near perfect rhythm we associate with the Grimm tale. Marshall's fat, floating princess is the picture of empty headed petulance, and it's fun to watch him make an almost identically postured frog look smugly victorious when the king commands that he be allowed in the door but droopy and rejected as the princess carries him disdainfully upstairs. The bounce and absurdity that Marshall gives the story helps counteract the thumpy spots in Tarcov's utilitarian retelling, but he's just as indifferent to the tensions and implications that have kept the frog prince with us for so long.