THE GOLDEN BALL by Katelyn Sinclair


The Fairy Tale of the Frog Prince and Why the Princess Kissed Him
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In her children’s picture book, Sinclair turns a Brothers Grimm classic about a frog and a princess into playful poetry that begs to be read aloud.

In this engaging reinterpretation of the familiar Brothers Grimm fairy tale about an arrogant princess and a witch-cursed-prince-turned-amphibian, Sinclair uses rhyming iambic tetrameter couplets—“An infant princess once was born / Upon an early winter morn / So long ago and far away / Her name is lost to us today”—to tell the tale of enchantment, transformation and royal comeuppance. Sinclair manages the form evenly throughout, from the origins of the princess’ favorite toy (“Because he loved her most of all / The Sun gave her a golden ball”) to the extended happy ending—with the spell broken by a friendly kiss, the little princess and the restored prince, still children, become best friends. They play together, grow up “[a]nd as a happy consequence / They fell in love a few years hence.” In addition to introducing young readers to a classic form of poetry, Sinclair stretches their imaginations through her choice of vocabulary—the princess has a “voracious” appetite, she’s “consumed” by fear, the wily frog prince plots to “contrive” a meeting—adding interest through words and context. Visually, the tale’s characters are represented as simplistic cartoon figures, but the serviceable illustrations feature a variety of scenic backdrops, playing with textures and suggesting varied watercolor and cutout effects. Sinclair helpfully includes a “How to Read this Book Aloud” page of instructions in the back of the book, encouraging readers to enjoy the rhythmic pattern of the text.

A well-known Grimm’s fairy tale is given a playful new interpretation through rhyming couplets and appealing word pictures in this charming read-aloud, read-along book for ages 5 to 9.

Pub Date: July 4th, 2011
ISBN: 978-1937186005
Page count: 56pp
Publisher: Chthonicity
Program: Kirkus Indie
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1st, 2011


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