"Once upon a time there lived a frog who loved a Princess." This is how Alix Berenzy begins her rendition of the Grimm fairy tale A Frog Prince, slightly tweaked and fully satisfying. When the princess drops her golden ball in the swamp by accident, the dog-sized frog is right there to help her out. She promises him she will let him live with her in the castle if he retrieves the ball. He follows through, but she does not, and in fact proves to be quite callous. After the moon sings him an inspirational song, the brave, resourceful, sensitive frog vows to go out into the world to find a princess who can appreciate his finer qualities. In true fairy-tale fashion, the frog faces three challenges on his journey: two terrible trolls, a green-faced witch, and even the End of the World. But the gentle frog meets each challenge with bravery and kindness toward smaller creatures, who aid him in unexpected ways.
He finally does chance upon the princess of his dreams, blushes a deep green, and rejoices when the lovely frog princess asks him to marry her! Berenzy's paintings are dark and mysterious, in deep jewel tones that fit the mood of her story. In contrast to the Grimm original, this story does not reward a selfish princess for gradually learning to tolerate the frog. This is the tale of a frog on a mission who knows he needs to find someone who is smart and sensitive enough to value him for his true self, warts and all. Young readers will love this story and its charming, beautiful illustrations. (Ages 5 to 9)