Review posted November 30, 2013.
Harcourt Children’s Books, Boston, 2013. 198 pages.
This is one of Vivian Vande Velde’s more light-hearted works, for younger readers. When Princess Imogene meets a talking frog, he claims to be a prince who will gain his true form if she kisses him. Imogene wants to do what a good princess should do, so she kisses the frog. The frog does turn back into a boy (though not a prince), but the spell transfers to Imogene, and she becomes a frog. What’s more, she’s stuck as a frog until she can find someone to kiss her and take the spell. But what kind of princess would do such a thing to someone else?
Imogene figures she can find someone who will take her back to her parents, and they can figure out a solution. But instead, she falls into the hands of some traveling performers who plan to make money with a talking frog. In the misadventures that follow, Imogene wonders if she will ever get home again, and if she will ever be a princess again.
This book is simply fun, with a heroine who started out feeling burdened by expectations to be a good princess, but who ends up just being thankful to be herself.