Goodreads: The Frog Princess
Series: Tales of the Frog Princess #1
Summary: When Princess Emma runs to the swamp to escape a visit with Prince Jorge, she meets a frog who claims to be an enchanted prince. One kiss, he tells her, and he will return to being human. Unfortunately, things do not turn out quite as the frog claimed.
Review: The Frog Princess is an amusing read full of little jokes and cute animals. Many of them have the potential to be an enemy to a frog—otters, mice, toads, bats, snakes, and spiders—but most of them end up being friends. Young readers will enjoy their adventures as they experience the world along with them, from an animal’s unique point of view. Everything is large. Many things are dangerous. But some things, like eating flies, are unexpectedly good.
The writing style of The Frog Princess will probably appeal to only a select group of readers, however. Baker attempts to be funny or modern, maybe both, but the effect is that Princess Emma sounds completely out of place. Her rude, contemporary speech suggests that a royal upbringing was missing, even though her mother is supposedly a stickler for decorum, and it makes her sound as if she does not belong in her own time period—whenever, precisely, that is. Some readers may find this approach refreshing; others will find it quite jarring.
The plot also strives to be more fun than believable. Ridiculous obstacles arise at every turn, and then convenient solutions pop up around the next corner. This does keep things exciting, but none of the plot twists get the time they deserve, and there comes a point when one begins to wonder whether the story should not have ended already. The frog prince himself makes a similar observation, which suggests Baker may actually be aware of the problem. It would have been better for her to resolve it rather than joke about it, however.
In the end, my complaints may be unique to readers who have encountered tighter and more complex books. The Frog Princess does have enough going on to keep younger readers—the intended audience—interested, and they may find that the characters’ dialogue actually makes them relatable. There are enough books in the series to indicate that someone is reading and enjoying them. If you did, please feel free to leave a comment!