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SPELLS by Emily Gravett


by Emily Gravett & illustrated by Emily Gravett

Age Range: 3 - 6

Pub Date: Oct. 6th, 2009
ISBN: 978-1-4169-8270-8
Publisher: Simon & Schuster

What if you found a book of spells—but wished it were something else? This smiling green frog would prefer a book about boats, to spur his pirate imagination onto the seven seas, or about castles, to help him picture kissing a princess. Shredded paper makes an alluringly tactile ocean for Frog’s pretend ship, built from this very book of spells (authored suspiciously by Emily Gribbitt, in her delightfully sly trademark meta-humor). One paper fragment offers the seductive “Spell to become a Handsome Prince.” But how do you follow shredded directions? Horizontally split pages allow readers to concoct their own spell-combinations along with frog, with results traditional (snake, rabbit) or haphazard (fabbit, snird). Pencil, watercolors and sprinkled glitter supplement the collage. Finally, Frog—newly a tall (naked) prince—kisses a princess. Gravett’s twist is more mischievous than truly dark, but make no assumptions about the power of a kiss! A torn scrap on the endpaper explains it all, delicately hinting the criticality of reading the small print when casting spells. (Picture book. 3-6)