Sunday, July 7, 2013
I've long been a fan of Vivian Vande Velde's work and was happy to discover Frogged on the shelf.
An amazon summary to begin, "One should be able to say of a princess “She was as good as she was beautiful,” according to The Art of Being a Princess (third revised edition), which the almost-thirteen-year-old Princess Imogene is supposed to be reading. Not feeling particularly good, or all that beautiful, she heads for a nearby pond, where, unfortunately, a talking frog tricks her into kissing him. No prince appears, as one might expect. Instead, the princess turns into a frog herself! Thus launches a funny, wonderfully spun fractured fairy tale in which Imogene wonders if she will be forever frogified." AMAZON LINK OF JUSTICE
The unfortunately named Prince Imogene Eustacia Wellington (Imogene being the better name of Imogene and Eustacia; named after her dear Grandmothers) has to learn to be a proper princess. It's two weeks before her thirteenth birthday and her mother, the Queen, has just given her a book; The Art of Being a Princess. She reads the prologue, tries to think of three things she learned from it to discuss with her mother, and breaks down one lesson into two to make it seem as if she learned enough.
Her mother took to bed with a headache, which let Imogene wander out to her favorite spot on the grounds; the mill pond. Imogene lays in the grass only to hear someone speaking to her.
First instinct: She's been caught and in trouble.
Then she realizes that the voice is younger, male, and one she definitely doesn't recognize. She looks around a bit before the voice asks her to look down, then she spots a frog.
The frog tells a tale of woe which Imogene is a little suspicious of but has been asked to kiss it to break the frog curse. However, when she kisses him, Imogene turns into a frog but the boy is returned to his human form.
It turns out the boy was cursed by a witch when he chucked about three rotten apples at her when she emerged from her house. He refuses to help her and so Imogene sets off to find the witch.
She goes through the terrors on the road as a frog before she finds the witch who tells her that the witch cannot break the curse and she should find someone else to pass it off on.
A very helpful witch.
Imogene hops off to find a boy who might be able to help her, and her journey begins.
This book was a delightful, fast read that was just enough ridiculous and just enough serious for me.
Imogene was a kind character who has all the makings of a 'proper princess' but just needs to be a bit refined, but she's only twelve almost thirteen so I didn't mind it at all.
It was also a little bit of a short book, the copy I read was only 198 pages in length.