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Reviewed by Rosie Malezer for Readers' Favorite
The Frog Prince: A Brothers Grimm Story Told as a Novella is a children’s fable of years gone by written by Mike Klaassen. As Prince Gerit of Krickenheim goes to a pond in order to satisfy his craving for frogs’ legs for dinner, his feet become stuck in the mud. An old crone, Wibke, frees him from a watery death in exchange for lavish rewards. Once freed, however, the prince reneges on their agreement. As punishment, Wibke turns Gerit into a frog. The only way to break the spell is for Gerit to be kissed three times. Gerit narrowly avoids death from predators, and makes his way to the nearest township, ruled by King Torsten, Queen Ingeborg, and their very spoiled daughter, Princess Anneliese. Knowing that the princess is his only hope of being transformed back into a prince, he does all he can to win her heart, but with Fluffy, the royal cat, eyeing his every move, Gerit soon resigns himself to remaining a frog for the rest of his days ... until he is faced with losing Anneliese forever.
While I have never read the original Brothers Grimm tale of The Frog Prince, I found Mike Klaassen’s adaptation to be rather extraordinary. Initially, the tale shows Prince Gerit (in his human form) to be deceptive, dishonest, spoiled, and showing complete disregard for other creatures. His hard lesson, being transformed into a frog, teaches the prince how difficult life can be for others, as he is surrounded by predators both in and out of the water. The Frog Prince, as written by Mike Klaassen, is both captivating and enchanting, teaching readers that your word is the most important thing you can give, aside from your own heart when you are in love. It also teaches the importance of disciplining your children and teaching them proper values, rather than giving in to their every whim until they become spoiled, unruly and unmanageable. Princess Anneliese found comfort in having frog-Gerit as a companion, regardless of whether to simply read to or play with, and it forged an unbreakable friendship between the two. I wholeheartedly enjoyed The Frog Prince: A Brothers Grimm Story Told as a Novella, and am excited to read my next Mike Klaassen tale in the future.