Title: The Frog Princess
Author: E. D. Baker
ISBN: 1582347999
Pages: 214 pages
Publisher/Date: Bloomsbury, c2002.

“But I can’t marry Jorge! We don’t love each other!”
My mother gave me a look so cold that I stepped back a pace. “What does that have to do with anything?” she asked. “Husbands and wives who love each other are the exception, not the rule. Stop whining and be happy that he wants your hand at all. Not many princes would be willing to marry someone as awkward as you. Despite all my efforts, you have few social graces. If only you’d been born a boy as your father and I had wanted! Maybe then I could have made comething of you. As it is, this match is the best that you can hope for, so I expect you to be gracious about it. Now see what you’ve done! I can feel my headache returning.”
Marrying Jorge would be a terrible mistake. (23)

Out of pure frustration, Princess Emeralda runs away from the castle, rather than having to deal with her soon to be fiance Jorge. It’s in the neighboring swamp that she encounters a frog, who claims to be Prince Eadric turned into a frog by a spell that can only be broken by a kiss. Princess Emeralda feels she has nothing else left to loose, so she puckers up, first wiping the dead fly legs from his mouth. The kiss has disasterous consequences, forcing Emeralda and Eadric to travel to the scene of the first enchantment to find a solution to the problem.

The Frog Princess, by E.D. Baker, served as inspiration for Disney’s newest movie The Princess and the Frog, due to hit theatres this weekend. If you like this book, there are currently three more in the series: Dragon’s Breath, Once Upon a Curse, and No Place for Magic. It’s a cute story, with a fiesty, no-nonsense heroine paired with a not so bright hero. There’s some humor too, like when the question of whether dramatic gestures and voices are necessary to make a spell work, one of the characters says

“You don’t have to do those things to make the spell work. I just like it better when it’s done that way.”
“You mean all that arm waving I did was just for show?”
“Yup.” (126)

Fans of fractured fairy tales like Gail Carson Levine’s Ella and Carol Matas and Perry Nodelman’s Of Two Minds will probably be thrilled with this series.