Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Princess, Prince and Frog Books - A Children's Booklist

Earlier this month, my daughter and I saw the new Disney princess movie, The Princess and the Frog. Though I wish the film would have centered less on voodoo magic, we both enjoyed the movie, especially the fantastic music and hand drawn animation. I posted earlier this month about the origins of The Princess and the Frog and discussed a couple of the books that inspired the movie.

We own an older copy of The Frog Prince, purchased from a garage sale. The book, a retelling of the original Brother's Grimm fairy tale, depicts a selfish princess who violently hurls the frog at the wall instead of kissing him. I decided to search for less violent versions at the library, and we've now read several variants of the famous fairy tale. While it's impossible to list all the published titles, I thought I'd summarize some of the versions and adaptions available. The titles with short reviews are the ones we've read. I'll update the post as we read more stories. (illustration from "The Frog Prince" by Walter Crane)

Movie Tie-In Books:
Disney Books for Young Readers, a division of Random House published several movie tie-in books to correspond with the new The Princess and the Frog release. A complete list of the books can be found at: http://www.randomhouse.com/kids/disney/princessfrog/ along with downloadable printable pdf activities.

Frog Princess Books:
The Frog Princess by Rosalind Allchin. Kids Can Press (2001, paperback 2003); 32 pages
A female frog wonders what life would be like as a princess and gets her chance (living as an untransformed frog in princess clothes) after she retrieves a prince's ball. Unfortunately, life as a princess isn't what the frog expected. Humorous situations and bright illustrations give an interesting twist to the typical story. (5+)

The Frog Princess adapted by Laura Cecil, illustrated by Emma Chichester Clark. Greenwillow Books (1995); ISBN 9780688135065; 32 pages
In this frog bride adaption, a queen encourages her three sons to find brides by shooting arrows. Marco, the youngest son, finds his arrow near a green frog. The frog miraculously performs the queen's tasks earning the prince the title of king. Bright watercolor illustrations accompany the interesting, dialog filled text. (4+)

The Frog Princess by Elizabeth Isele, illustrated by Michael Hague. Thomas Y. Crowell (1984); ISBN 9780690042177; 32 pages
The story is adapted from a Russian folktale and tells the story of Visilisa the Wise, a princess turned into a frog. A Czar's son, in need of a bride, shoots an arrow into the sky. He finds the princess frog in the middle of the swamp holding his arrow. Classically illustrated, Hague's detailed but subdued color illustrations typically appear opposite the lengthy text. (early elementary)

The Frog Princess: A Tlingit Legend from Alaska by Eric Kimmel, illustrated by Rosanne Litzinger
The Frog Princess by J. Patrick Lewis, illustrated by Gennady Spirin

Frog Prince Books:
The Frog Prince, illustrated by Walter Crane. George Routledge and Sons (1874?)
An original Brother's Grimm version with superb illustrations by Crane.

The Frog Prince retold by Fiona Black, illustrated by Wayne Parmenter. Andrews McMeel Publishing (1991); ISBN 9780836249200; 32 pages
A modern retelling of the Brother's Grimm story featuring a nicer princess. No kiss in this one - the frog transforms after sleeping three nights on a pillow. Beautiful, traditional illustrations are found in this smaller-sized book. The book is part of the Andrews McMeel series, Childrens Classics. (5+)

The Frog Prince by Paul Galdone. Mcgraw-Hill (1975); ISBN 9780590757973;
Classic version of the Brother's Grimm story with detailed, color illustrations. The cruel princess throws the frog at the wall to transform him, and the ending features Iron Henry. Galdone illustrated several other fairy tales as well. (5+)

Frog Prince (Flip-Up Fairy Tales) illustrated by Jess Stockham. Child's Play Intl Ltd (2007); ISBN 9781846430770; 24 pages
Appropriate for younger children, this retelling features lift-up flaps. A child-aged princess doesn't get along well with other children and typically plays by herself. She loses her gold ball in a pond and a friendly frog rescues it. The princess eventually learns what it means to be a true friend. (preschool)

The Frog Prince retold by Susanna Davidson, illustrated by Mike Gordon. Usborne Books (2005); ISBN 9780794509699; 48 pages
This chapter book with cartoonish illustrations features Princess Poppy in a softer version of the Brother's Grimm story. The princess throws the frog out the window but feels bad and eventually kisses him. (early-middle grade)

The Frog Prince by Kathy-Jo Wargin, illustrated by Anne Yvonne Gilbert
The Prog Frince: A Mixed-up Tale by C. Drew Lamm, illustrated by Barbara Mc Clintock
The Frog Prince by Jan Ormerod
The Princess and the Frog by Will Eisner
The Frog Prince (We Both Read) by Sindy McKay, illustrated by George Ulrich.
The Frog Prince illustrated by Binette Schroeder.

Two Frogs - books with both female and male frogs:
The Frog Princess by E.D. Baker
Bloomsbury USA Children's Books (November 2002); ISBN 9781582347998; 200 pages
A twist on the well-known fairy tale but in this case the princess kisses the frog and she turns into a FROG, too. My review here. (middle grade)

The Frog Prince, Continued by Jon Scieszka, illustrated by Steve Johnson. Viking Penguin (1991); ISBN 9780670834211; 32 pages
Humorous, creative story about what happens after the princess kisses the frog. Neither the prince or princess seem content with their married life. The prince runs off searching for a witch to turn him back into a frog. The book features dark, dramatic illustrations and an unusual ending. (5+)

The Prince of the Pond: Otherwise Known as De Fawg Pin by Donna Jo Napoli, illustrated by Judith Byron Schachner (middle grade)
A Frog Prince by Alix Berenzy (picture book)

Other related books:
Do Princesses Really Kiss Frogs?
by Carmela LaVigna Coyle, illustrated by Mike Gordon. Rising Moon (2005); ISBN 9780873588805; 32 pages
A father and daughter go on a hike and experience nature. Only one page spread discusses kissing frogs. Highly recommended for all little princesses by nature. Search for the hidden dragon and other images! Adorable, clever illustrations with short rhyming text. (preschool +)

Princess Smartypants by Babette Cole. Putnam Juvenile (2005); ISBN 9780399243981; 32 pages
A comically illustrated book about a princess that absolutely refuses to marry and sets up impossible tasks for her suitors. Watch out for her kiss! The modern day, rather unpleasant princess shines in this humorous picture book. Princess Smartypants shows that a princess does not need a prince to live happily ever after. (4+)

Previously by Allen Ahlberg, illustrated by Bruce Ingman. Candlewick Press (2007); ISBN 9780763635428; 32 pages
Linking several fairy tales together, Ahlberg creates a new story about what previously occurred in the famous characters' lives before the fairy tales. The frog prince appears in the center of the book and according to the story, previously he ate his dinner from golden plates, traveled in a milk-white Mercedes and fell in love with a girl named Cinderella. Children with prior knowledge of the fairy tales will enjoy the creative story and unique acrylic illustrations. (4+)

Don't Kiss the Frog!: Princess Stories with Attitude by Fiona Waters and Ella Burfoot
The Frog and the Princess: and the Prince and the Mole, and the Frog and the Mole, and the Prince and the Princess... by John Bear and Charlie Powell

Other Book Lists / Bibliography:
SurLaLune Fairy Tales: The Annotated Frog King
The Frog Prince or The Frog King - Amazon Listmania List
Fountaindale Library Children's Services Blog - Of Princes and Frogs
BGSU Folktale and Fairy Tale Resources in the CRC - Frog Prince
Boise Public Library Fairytale Variants [pdf]

Do you have a favorite version of The Frog Prince or Princess? Please share. I'd love to include it.

(I am an Amazon affiliate and may receive a very small commission for products purchased through my Amazon links.)


Cecelia said...

Great list! I must admit that I love the tale, especially the YA retelling Water Song, which I read recently.

Amy @ Hope Is the Word said...

Wow! That's quite a list! What a great resource for unit studies, etc. Thanks for linking it up to Read Aloud Thursday!

Playing by the book said...

Have you seen this yet:
I thought of you as soon as it came up!