THE FROG PRINCESS

A dreamy frog discovers that the life of a Royal isn’t all crunchy flies and cool waters in this sardonic debut. Overhearing the prince making an incautious vow, Frog fetches his golf ball from the pond and exacts a promise of marriage. Back at the palace, however, she’s stuffed into uncomfortable gowns, trucked from one foodless official function to another, and, being totally ignorant of polite behavior, embarrasses her royal husband-to-be no end. For the illustrations, Allchin draws together faithfully reproduced elements and figures from late medieval manuscript illuminations, adding visual jokes, such as a golf course to the chateau scene, and surrounding Frog with elaborately dressed courtiers. Swelling instantly from frog to human size but keeping her face and form, Frog goes from rapture to discomfort and frustration, and then to the frozen inability to do anything for fear of offending. Still, she’s willing to make a go of it—until servants at the ball that evening serve platters of frogs’ legs. Then it’s out the window and back to the pond for her. Readers will jump for this tongue-in-cheek variation on the theme of being careful what you wish for. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2001

ISBN: 1-55337-000-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Kids Can

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2001

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BUBBA, THE COWBOY PRINCE

A FRACTURED TEXAS TALE

A Cinderella parody features the off-the-wall, whang-dang Texas hyperbole of Ketteman (The Year of No More Corn, 1993, etc.) and the insouciance of Warhola, who proves himself only too capable of creating a fairy godcow; that she's so appealingly whimsical makes it easy to accept the classic tale's inversions. The protagonist is Bubba, appropriately downtrodden and overworked by his wicked stepdaddy and loathsome brothers Dwayne and Milton, who spend their days bossing him around. The other half of the happy couple is Miz Lurleen, who owns ``the biggest spread west of the Brazos.'' She craves male companionship to help her work the place, ``and it wouldn't hurt if he was cute as a cow's ear, either.'' There are no surprises in this version except in the hilarious way the premise plays itself out and in Warhola's delightful visual surprises. When Lurleen tracks the bootless Bubba down, ``Dwayne and Milton and their wicked daddy threw chicken fits.'' Bubba and babe, hair as big as a Texas sun, ride off to a life of happy ranching, and readers will be proud to have been along for the courtship. (Picture book/folklore. 6-8)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1997

ISBN: 0-590-25506-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 1997

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THE BEST CHEF IN SECOND GRADE

An impending school visit by a celebrity chef sends budding cook Ollie into a tailspin. He and his classmates are supposed to bring a favorite family food for show and tell, but his family doesn’t have a clear choice—besides, his little sister Rosy doesn’t like much of anything. What to do? As in their previous two visits to Room 75, Kenah builds suspense while keeping the tone light, and Carter adds both bright notes of color and familiar home and school settings in her cartoon illustrations. Eventually, Ollie winkles favorite ingredients out of his clan, which he combines into a mac-and-cheese casserole with a face on top that draws delighted praise from the class’s renowned guest. As Ollie seems to do his kitchen work without parental assistance, a cautionary tip or two (and maybe a recipe) might not have gone amiss here, but the episode’s mouthwatering climax and resolution will guarantee smiles of contentment all around. (Easy reader. 6-7)

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 2007

ISBN: 978-0-06-053561-2

Page Count: 48

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2007

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