Title: The Frog Prince
Author: Mike Klaassen
Genre: Fairy Tale Retelling / Historical Romance
Year Published: 2016
Number of Pages: 114 pages
Date Read: 9/24/2017
Source: eARC (Book Unleashed)
Content Rating: Ages 8+ (Some Intense Moments and Rude Behavior)
I would like to thank Book Unleashed and Bookbaby for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Now, I have been reading the Brothers Grimm fairy tale classics for many years and I have seen many retellings of their fairy tales such as “Rumpelstiltskin,” “The Bremen Town Musicians” and “Snow White.” But, I had never read a retelling of the “Frog Prince” before and when Book Unleashed gave me a free copy of Mike Klaassen’s retelling of “The Frog Prince,” I just had to check this book out and man was I blown away by this interesting retelling of the classic story!
Young Prince Gerit was out playing around the bog near his father’s kingdom when suddenly, he falls into the bog and could not get out of the water. Then, an old woman named Wibke came along and noticed that Gerit was in trouble. Gerit desperately asks the old woman to help him out of the water and Wibke promised that she will help the prince if the prince promises her that he will take care of her for the rest of his life. Of course, Gerit does not want to take care of the woman, but he agreed to the bargain anyway and Wibke helped Gerit out of the water. Then Gerit tried to break his promise to Wibke by running off to the castle, until Wibke transformed Gerit into a frog and she states that the only way that Gerit will turn back into a prince again is if a princess comes along and kisses him three times. So, Gerit goes on a long journey to find a princess who is willing to kiss him three times and Gerit stumbles upon a kingdom that is ruled by his father, King Egon’s enemy, King Torsten and he finds out that King Torsten has a daughter named Anneliese. Now, Gerit tries to make an effort to get Princess Anneliese to kiss him three times or else, he will remain a frog forever!
Wow…just wow…I never would have thought that I would read a retelling of “The Frog Prince” with so much energy and emotion! Mike Klaassen has done a fantastic job at retelling this classic fairy tale as he gives a more contemporary and in-depth spin to the story. I loved the fact that the story is told from the point of view of the Frog Prince himself and this made Gerit into an extremely interesting character as we get to see how he was like before he turned into a frog and we also get to see his struggles in becoming a frog and trying to find a way to change himself back into a prince. I also loved the character development that both Prince Gerit and Anneliese go through as they both started off as royal brats who only thought about themselves and believe that they will get anything they want because they are of royalty. However, the events of the story caused the characters to grow and understand the harsh situations that they are thrown into, such as the fact that their kingdoms are being involved in a war and how both Gerit and Anneliese may have to sacrifice their happiness in order to save their kingdoms. I loved the way that Mike Klaassen developed Gerit and Anneliese’s relationship with each other as I enjoyed the interactions that the two had with each other, such as playing ball together and talking about their favorite books. I also felt that Gerit and Anneliese’s growing relationship with each other was developed in a natural way and it felt more real than in the original fairy tale as the two did not love each other at first, but started developing feelings for each other over the course of the story, which I found to be pretty refreshing!
The only problem I had with this book was that the ending felt a bit rushed. It felt like they wanted to quickly skip to the ending of the original fairy tale and did not developed the resolution of the story a bit further to see how the actions of the characters would affect the overall scheme of the story.
Overall, “The Frog Prince” is a brilliant retelling of the original fairy tale and anyone who is a huge fan of the “Frog Prince” will easily enjoy this book!
Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog
As I've mentioned in two other posts (here and here), I'm a fan of Shaun Tan's works. What's better than a book written and illustrated by Shaun Tan? A book of Grimm's Fairytales illustrated with sculptures by Shaun Tan with an introduction by Neil Gaiman! If you've ready anything by Gaiman then you know his wheelhouse is dark, creepy fantasy. The Singing Bones definitely qualifies to enter that wheelhouse (why do they call it a wheelhouse by the way?). Each of Tan's sculptures are accompanied by a short passage from one of the Brothers Grimm fairytales. It's all about the emotion that the stories evoke and how they can be interpreted through art. Despair, fear, and hope are just a few of the feelings elicited within the pages of this book. If you're familiar with Tan's illustrations then you know the kind of artwork he creates tends to be eerie and full of emotion. This is no exception. I know that most people are familiar with the sweet illustrations and the happily ever after versions of these tales but Tan used the original text to create his art which makes it much more raw. I took my time with it much as you would with a large storybook. I personally think it would make an excellent coffee table book. I'd give it a 8/10 only because I would have liked the full versions of the stories and more art because I'm super greedy like that.
Rapunzel (Source: The Galaxial Word)