Frogged
A princess should be as good as she is beautiful.So says The Art of Being a Princess, which Princess Imogene is supposed to be reading. But since she is neither particularly good nor all that beautiful, she skips her homework to visit the pond. There she meets a talking frog who claims to be a prince under a witch's spell. Imogene kindly kisses him to remove the spell - and gets turned into a frog instead!Now the only way for the princess to un-frog herself is to convince someone else to kiss her. But before she can figure out a plan, Imogene gets kidnapped and becomes the unwilling star attraction in a third-rate traveling theater company. Can she find a way to undo the witch's spell - or will she be frogged forever?

Frogged Details

TitleFrogged
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseApr 2nd, 2013
PublisherHarcourt Children's Books
ISBN-139780547942155
Rating
GenreFantasy, Childrens, Middle Grade, Fairy Tales, Humor

Frogged Review

  • Ms. Yingling
    January 1, 1970
    The Princess Imogene is trying to prepare for her 13th birthday by reading The Art of Being a Princess, but is finding it a struggle. She's not particularly beautiful or kind or any of the things that princesses are supposed to be. This might be why, when she is approached by a frog, she agrees to kiss him to break the spell. The only problem? She has kissed Harry, a local boy who has irritated a witch, and now SHE will be a frog unless she can convince someone else to kiss her and then be turne The Princess Imogene is trying to prepare for her 13th birthday by reading The Art of Being a Princess, but is finding it a struggle. She's not particularly beautiful or kind or any of the things that princesses are supposed to be. This might be why, when she is approached by a frog, she agrees to kiss him to break the spell. The only problem? She has kissed Harry, a local boy who has irritated a witch, and now SHE will be a frog unless she can convince someone else to kiss her and then be turned into a frog. She asks the witch to break the spell, but she refuses. Next, she ends up in the clutches of the well-meaning but dense Luella and her beau, Bertie, who convinces Louella to run away with his troupe of actors, where they can find fame and fortune by showcasing the "talking Chinese frog". This plan doesn't go the way either Imogene or Luella would like-- Imogene just wants to get home to her parents, and Luella is not allowed to act. Eventually, the two make it back to the castle, where a family friend of Imogene helps her figure out a way to break the curse.Strengths: Having just done a unit on myths, folk tales and fairy tales with a seventh grade language arts class, this would be a fun book for students to read. Imogene's plight as a frog is amusing and makes for a light read, and the cover is fresh and appealing.Weaknesses: Something seemed to be missing. Imogene had to linger far too long with the actors, and I kept waiting for something... bigger to happen. The ending was similarly dissatisfying. Vande Velde usually has such clever fairy tale turns that I was just expecting something more.
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  • Liviania
    January 1, 1970
    When Princess Imogene tries to help who she thinks is a prince cursed to be a frog, she ends up a frog herself. But she must pass the curse on to someone else to save herself and Imogene has enough fortitude not to do that.Imogene is just a little younger than thirteen and it shows in her actions. She's not unintelligent, just young and sheltered. Her eventual traveling companion, Luella, is a delight. She's the butt of a mean joke at first, but she turns out to be more. This is not my favorite When Princess Imogene tries to help who she thinks is a prince cursed to be a frog, she ends up a frog herself. But she must pass the curse on to someone else to save herself and Imogene has enough fortitude not to do that.Imogene is just a little younger than thirteen and it shows in her actions. She's not unintelligent, just young and sheltered. Her eventual traveling companion, Luella, is a delight. She's the butt of a mean joke at first, but she turns out to be more. This is not my favorite of Vande Velde's books, but FROGGED is a fun little fractured fairytale. It's also quite funny.
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  • Small Review
    January 1, 1970
    Originally posted on Small ReviewI don't even know how to describe this book. It's Vivian Vande Velde. I like Vivian Vande Velde. I haven't read a book she's written that I haven't liked, though some I've LOVED (but this one I liked). I recommend her to everyone because she's just that kind of author. Basically, amazing. What I mean to say is that this is a solid read. It didn't leave a huge impression on me, but that's mostly because it's the more MG Vivian Vande Velde as opposed to the more YA Originally posted on Small ReviewI don't even know how to describe this book. It's Vivian Vande Velde. I like Vivian Vande Velde. I haven't read a book she's written that I haven't liked, though some I've LOVED (but this one I liked). I recommend her to everyone because she's just that kind of author. Basically, amazing. What I mean to say is that this is a solid read. It didn't leave a huge impression on me, but that's mostly because it's the more MG Vivian Vande Velde as opposed to the more YA Vivian Vande Velde, and I like her YA stuff more than her thinner MG stuff.Her YA stuff has more character depth and deeper plots, whereas her more MG stuff sits a little closer to the surface and the characters aren't nearly as developed.  But that's ok, because YA or MG, I can pretty much always count on Vivian Vande Velde to give me these things: Sarcastic, sly, witty humor A sweet, but background, romance An imperfect main character who is fun, stubborn, smart, and ultimately good An engaging mystery or conundrum with a satisfying conclusion A plot with no boring filler and enough momentum to keep me engaged from start to finish A feel-good, comfort read story Funny side characters Slap-in-the-face characters who aren't as good or nice as typical MG/YA book characters tend to be A unique twist on ho-hum plot And I got all that, so I'm happy.Also, I loved that her prologue basically chastised me for remarking on how I usually skip prologues and author's notes. Ha! Well, I assure you, while I STILL skip most author's prologues (you know, the kind that are ABOUT the book and not actually a PART of the story), I ALWAYS read Vivian Vande Velde's prologues and author's notes (and you should too. They're funny!) Recommended for fans of Vivian Vande Velde and fractured fairy tales. Explanation of rating system: Star Rating Key Originally posted on Small Review
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  • Josie
    January 1, 1970
    I liked this book. Sometimes it was hard to keep track of what was happening, because the author kept on adding new characters. I would recommend this book to people who like Land of Stories, because it is about fairy tales. You really get connected with the characters.
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  • Adriana
    January 1, 1970
    I'm a lover of fairy tales and all that goes with it - dangerous journey's, daring rescues, princesses who save themselves (girl power!), witches, good versus evil, and of course happily ever afters. Telling me that you just read or I should read a book that is a retelling will instantly make me want to read the book. I do not need to know anymore just give me the book. I decided to read some retellings this year after I told myself I would last year. So here I am with Frogged - a retelling of T I'm a lover of fairy tales and all that goes with it - dangerous journey's, daring rescues, princesses who save themselves (girl power!), witches, good versus evil, and of course happily ever afters. Telling me that you just read or I should read a book that is a retelling will instantly make me want to read the book. I do not need to know anymore just give me the book. I decided to read some retellings this year after I told myself I would last year. So here I am with Frogged - a retelling of The Frog Prince. Have you ever read the original Frog Prince? The princess is a total brat who after getting something precious back from a kind frog (a golden ball - I'm being serious) she runs away from him and refuses to keep her end of the bargain when he is able to retrieve the ball. Basically she agreed for him to eat off her plate, be her friend, and sleep in her bed. Kind of weird but, a frog isn't going to do anything to you so why not? And you know how she breaks the spell? By throwing the frog at a wall. No kissing like you have been taught with other books and certain movies. I felt a little snuffed with the no kissing part and why should this bratty princess have a happily ever after? The weird and interesting thing was with the prince's loyal companion and servant, Henry I believe his name was, if anyone know of a retelling with him let me know because I would totally read it. Frogged, thankfully, did not have a bratty princess - more like a snarky one who didn't care to act like a lady or in her case a princess. Imogene, named after one of her grandmothers - lucky her - is a little wild and she feels her mother is cold towards her. Her mother wants her to read a book entitled The Art of Being a Princess but Imogene can't bring herself to read more than a few sentences before she finds herself tricked and turned into a frog. She doesn't believe herself to be good but she was very nice to kiss a talking frog/human who needed some help. Imogene then journey's to the worst witch conversationalist ever and then gets kidnapped to work in a traveling theater by two witless teenagers - Luella and Bertie - who don't believe a talking frog when she tells them she's a princess under a spell. "By concentrating, she could make out what the frogs were saying, and that was when she realized their language only had a few words. Imogene didn't like to judge, but she felt that the frogs didn't have much to say."While Imogene is at the traveling theater she makes witty and humorous remarks and gives advice to Luella who makes the mistake of following Bertie to a traveling theater. Imogene's funnier than I expected and I really enjoyed her perspective as a princess trapped in a frog's body. I kind of felt bad for frogs and their bad wraps even though I will still never get near any of them or at least not any toads *shudder*."Then, in the kind of voice quite a few people use for pets and very young children, Luella said, "Can you say Polly'? Say: "My name is Polly."Imogene couldn't help herself. "You," she told Luella, "are a twit."But Luella only laughed."Better be careful," Bertie said. "Some parrots have picked up quite rude language. The same might be true for our Chinese speaking frog."Imogene told him, "You're a twit too."I liked the bond Imogene and Luella both made and the somewhat change in strength of character with Luella. The villain - Ned, the owner of the traveling theater - was a horrible playwright. He was pretty wicked and lacking in smarts which was a theme in the story. Imogene's story was entertaining especially since she was amongst fools and would make light of it by making fun of them. She was also always nice to Luella which proved herself wrong. She was a very good person even when she was in such frustrating circumstances. That sounds a little contradictory but she was nice to the right people who didn't blatantly keep her against her will.The ending was satisfying but there was one thing that I was so-so on. I liked how it all came together with Imogene but I don't know about Luella. There was kissing in this story which thoroughly made me happy. I'd never read a Frog Prince retelling before Frogged so now I'm really interested to see other author's perspective on the original tale. This was a really cute and funny retelling that I'm sure will entertain lover's of children's fiction and fairy tales.
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  • Lyle Willey
    January 1, 1970
    Frogged, Vivian Vande VeldeCategory/genre- YA, fantasy fictionEstimate of age of level of interest- Grades 4-8Estimate reading level• Reading level 5.6• Lexile Measure 870• F and P= TBrief descriptionPrincess Imogene is preparing for her thirteenth birthday and being transformed from a loud, rude, tom-boy to a real princess. Her journey to becoming a true princess begins with the unfortunate transformation into a frog and the adventures that ensue as she strives to return home to her parents and Frogged, Vivian Vande VeldeCategory/genre- YA, fantasy fictionEstimate of age of level of interest- Grades 4-8Estimate reading level• Reading level 5.6• Lexile Measure 870• F and P= TBrief descriptionPrincess Imogene is preparing for her thirteenth birthday and being transformed from a loud, rude, tom-boy to a real princess. Her journey to becoming a true princess begins with the unfortunate transformation into a frog and the adventures that ensue as she strives to return home to her parents and her younger brother. Her journey proves to prepare her more for young womanhood and becoming a princess than the words of the book given to her by her mother; The Art of Being a Princess. The book is witty, moves quickly and is an easy read. It is most suitable for girls grades 4-8 but not without interest for boys.Identify at least 2 characteristics of this genre and subgenre and discuss how they appear in your bookThere is always a quest and a hero who must complete the quest no matter the dangers or the impossibility of the tasks set before him/her. (Chance, P. 84) Princess Imogene is on a quest to return home AND to be freed of the curse that has turned her into a frog, preferably without passing that curse on to another person. Many dangerous and misadventures are encountered as she makes both friends and foes on this quest.There must be plenty of suspense to propel the story forward and compel the reader to keep turning the pages (Chance, p. 84) Each chapter brings us to a new peril as Imogene faces the challenges of being a frog and returning home. The reader is compelled to read the next chapter to find out how Imogene gets out of the situation and what new situation she will encounter.In what ways and how well does the book as a whole serve its intended audience?This is a soft coming-of-age story that particularly speaks to the growing pains of young adolescents (and specifically girls). It is also a fun read for entertainment that is written in a style suitable for students grades 4-8. It meets these needs well.Awards, if any- Dorothy Canfield Fisher Award 2014-2015Links to published reviewsKirkus reviews, March 15, 2013http://search.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.u...Publishers Weekly, February 11, 2013 http://search.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.u...School Library Journal, June 1, 2013 http://search.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.u...
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  • Becky B
    January 1, 1970
    Princess Imogene is trying to be helpful in kissing the frog claiming to be a prince, only to find herself unwittingly used by that pesky boy Harry who got himself justly turned into a frog for annoying a nice old witch. Now she's stuck as a frog until she can get someone else to kiss her, but Princess Imogene feels bad about tricking anyone the way Harry tricked her. How can a princess break a curse without stooping to the low of turning someone else into a frog? She tries asking the witch, but Princess Imogene is trying to be helpful in kissing the frog claiming to be a prince, only to find herself unwittingly used by that pesky boy Harry who got himself justly turned into a frog for annoying a nice old witch. Now she's stuck as a frog until she can get someone else to kiss her, but Princess Imogene feels bad about tricking anyone the way Harry tricked her. How can a princess break a curse without stooping to the low of turning someone else into a frog? She tries asking the witch, but she doesn't turn out to be much help. And she's on her way to the palace to see if she can convince them that she's Princess Imogene and then get their help to find some way to break the enchantment -- but on the way she gets caught by some actors who think she can make quite a bundle for their show. Even worse, as part of the show she can tell everyone and anyone the truth but no one will ever believe that she's really the princess. Things aren't looking too good for Imogene (except as a famous frog), until help comes from an unexpected corner and rather creative thinking.Vande Velde certainly took this familiar fairy tale in unexpected directions. But I found that a good thing. I really wasn't sure how things were going to get resolved, and even when I thought I might have an idea, that turned out wrong. So this book earns it's place on the shelf by taking the tale in new directions and not being quite predictable. Imogene is a princess many pre-teen girls will identify with. She feels clumsy, and not quite up to par in the beautiful ranks, and absolutely hopeless in the princess etiquette area. But she gives it her best shot, and it turns out she has a beautiful heart. Not many would be willing to stay a frog in order to save others from the amphibian experience. Imogene's also got some good dialogue with touches of humor. I wasn't rolling on the floor laughing by any means, but she helped the book stay lighthearted and comical despite what could have seemed rather dire circumstances. In all, another nice fairy tale rewrite for the middle grade crowd.Notes on content: No language issues. No sexual content. There are a few kisses, but nothing more. No violence.
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  • Shanshad Whelan
    January 1, 1970
    Sometimes I'll pick up a book and start reading it without noting the author on the cover. When four pages in, I'm really getting settled into the text and my third thoughts murmur "hey, this author knows what they're doing", that's often when I'll go back and check to see who wrote the book.That's what happened here. I snagged this book off my TBR pile in a hurry, needing something for my train ride. Got a few pages in, and then checked the writer. And of course Ms. Vivian Vande Velde knows her Sometimes I'll pick up a book and start reading it without noting the author on the cover. When four pages in, I'm really getting settled into the text and my third thoughts murmur "hey, this author knows what they're doing", that's often when I'll go back and check to see who wrote the book.That's what happened here. I snagged this book off my TBR pile in a hurry, needing something for my train ride. Got a few pages in, and then checked the writer. And of course Ms. Vivian Vande Velde knows her stuff. She's been writing engaging fantasy stories for kids long enough that I remember picking up her books when I was still in school.Frogged is a compact little fairy tale-esque story that manages to be funny, pointed at times, a little romantic, a little magical and deliver a good ending. Our main protagonist is Princess Imogene, who rather despairs of ever figuring out how to be a really good princess. By magical mischance, she gets herself turned into a frog . . . and then her adventures really begin. The author is very good at creating vivid characters--both likable and not, and it's easy to like our froggy heroine as she strives to get back home. What's perhaps more remarkable is the author's deft hand at threading other issues throughout the story. There's definitely some coming of age threads for our heroine here, and some pointed discoveries the princess makes about how differently she lives from the poor folk. But it never overwhelms the plot and turns it into an issue book. The author is very good and knowing what not to say or belabor. Instead, the commentary is made with the reader left to consider it and what it means. We've seen a glut in recent years of very "kick-ass" kind of princesses. The kind that not only don't fit the proper princess mold, but would rather use their tiara to brain the bad guy. Imogene isn't a warrior, or any kind of kick-butt heroine. This story doesn't turn being a traditional princess into a bad thing, but does remind readers--and princesses--that they are still human. A delightful contribution to fantasy for this year!
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  • Dana
    January 1, 1970
    Eh. It was okay. It sounded really fun; I love a good modernized/modified fairy tale. This one was supposed to be a take on The Frog Prince clearly. As my roommate Kelly pointed out when I read her the description, it sounded like a cross between Disney’s The Princess and the Frog and Don Bluth’s Thumbelina. (Which is one of my all time favorite movies, no shame.) The execution was just a little boring. There wasn’t much that was new here; I’m not sure why the author felt the need to tell this s Eh. It was okay. It sounded really fun; I love a good modernized/modified fairy tale. This one was supposed to be a take on The Frog Prince clearly. As my roommate Kelly pointed out when I read her the description, it sounded like a cross between Disney’s The Princess and the Frog and Don Bluth’s Thumbelina. (Which is one of my all time favorite movies, no shame.) The execution was just a little boring. There wasn’t much that was new here; I’m not sure why the author felt the need to tell this story. I never really felt any sense of suspense or urgency to the story, and pretty much all the characters were flat and one-dimensional. Imogene, the princess, was kind of fun and her voice was at times sarcastic and witty, but I didn’t feel any sort of real connection to her. The love interest at the end came out of nowhere and felt incredibly unneeded. The story didn’t call for any kind of romantic plot at all, especially not one so half-assed. Also Ned’s strange redemption/exposition that came in the final few chapters felt ridiculous and out of character. Overall, I was just not impressed with this book.Rating: 2.5 stars out of 5.
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  • Ashley Stein
    January 1, 1970
    I will keep this short and sweet. Or just short really. I was expecting a lot from this book, considering it was written by Vivian Vande Velde, which may explain why I feel so disappointed with it. It was a good book all in all. It was an interesting spin on the original fairy tale, though an interesting spin I have seen before in E.D. Bakers' series The Frog Princess. That was my primary problem with this book. I kept thinking I was reading one of E.D. Bakers books and confusing myself. It did I will keep this short and sweet. Or just short really. I was expecting a lot from this book, considering it was written by Vivian Vande Velde, which may explain why I feel so disappointed with it. It was a good book all in all. It was an interesting spin on the original fairy tale, though an interesting spin I have seen before in E.D. Bakers' series The Frog Princess. That was my primary problem with this book. I kept thinking I was reading one of E.D. Bakers books and confusing myself. It did differ from The Frog Princess, but not as much as I would have liked. I personally found that the plot was thinner then most of Mrs. Vande Velde's other books. I did like the Princess a lot, but she's pretty much the only character I liked and who felt even sort of developed. I hate to write a mean review, but I set the bar high and it missed it by a mile.
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  • Princess Debz
    January 1, 1970
    **I received an ARC and was not compensated for this review**This book is exactly the kind of book I would've loved when I was eight or nine. It had that unique whimsy that can only be captured in certain middle grade stories. Blank*teen year old me loved it just as much, if not more, than I would've when I was nine. It made me giggle and sent all sorts of silly daydreams into my head. The story, while somewhat predictable, was just too much fun for me to care. Imogene was a very spunky characte **I received an ARC and was not compensated for this review**This book is exactly the kind of book I would've loved when I was eight or nine. It had that unique whimsy that can only be captured in certain middle grade stories. Blank*teen year old me loved it just as much, if not more, than I would've when I was nine. It made me giggle and sent all sorts of silly daydreams into my head. The story, while somewhat predictable, was just too much fun for me to care. Imogene was a very spunky character, who I think a lot of girls could relate to (except for, y'know, the frog part...)With clever writing and a satisfying 'Happily Ever After', I'm sure this story will be entertaining readers for years to come! *What, you didn’t think I’d reveal my true age, did you?
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  • Megan
    January 1, 1970
    Cute, funny fractured fairy tale - 12-year-old Princess Imogene kisses a frog who claims he's a prince...and gets turned into a frog herself. I'm reading this with Sandy, but got impatient to find out how it ends and read ahead. I really love the portrayal of the parents in this book. So often tween/teen novels have parents that are portrayed as idiotic, absent, oblivious, etc.... This novel portrayed her parents as intelligent, concerned, and loving. There was some conflict with her mother at t Cute, funny fractured fairy tale - 12-year-old Princess Imogene kisses a frog who claims he's a prince...and gets turned into a frog herself. I'm reading this with Sandy, but got impatient to find out how it ends and read ahead. I really love the portrayal of the parents in this book. So often tween/teen novels have parents that are portrayed as idiotic, absent, oblivious, etc.... This novel portrayed her parents as intelligent, concerned, and loving. There was some conflict with her mother at the beginning over "proper" behavior, but at the end, she sees how much more important she is to her mother than proper behavior.
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  • Andrew
    January 1, 1970
    Using a book she's ignored (the titles of each chapter are lessons from the book 'Art of Being a Princess') awkward Princess Imogene gets herself turned into a frog by kissing one and goes off an adventure to turn herself back into Imogene. Fun colorful characters, light humor and lessons of coming-of-age, this is a great book for girls, especially, who are in that awkward stage in life (when puberty hits), who like(d) the Disney Princesses and looking for something fun to read.
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  • Kristin
    January 1, 1970
    Some reviewers have said this isn't one of Vivian Vande Velde's best books, but I've read only one other book by her, so I can't comment on that. I liked the plot and I was entertained by the humor in both the narration and the dialogue. A fun book!
  • Susan Aurbo-Charabin
    January 1, 1970
    My 9 year old daughter loved this book and insisted that I read it. So I finally did. It was interesting enough to keep me reading until the end so it wasn’t a waste of my time. The plot starts off interestingly enough, but then starts meandering all over the place until it reaches a fairly dull and predictable ending.
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  • Emily C
    January 1, 1970
    My sister loved reading this book
  • Chris
    January 1, 1970
    Super cute twist on the frog princess fairy tale.
  • Jennifer Heise
    January 1, 1970
    A cute read with a strong protagonist and a not-completely-obvious plotline.
  • Julie
    January 1, 1970
    I love fractured fairy tales. I started reading this one to a camp of kids, and I had to see how it ended. It was clever and funny. So glad I finished it.
  • Jessalyn King
    January 1, 1970
    Vivian Vande Velde does it again. She takes an overdone premise and makes it excellent and entertaining. Love it!
  • Lenka
    January 1, 1970
    I liked this book, because it was fantasy. I would recommend this book to anyone who liked the Land Of Stories, or who likes fantasy. I liked the characters, and the relationship between them.
  • Anne Beardsley
    January 1, 1970
    Pleasant and leaves you with a the warm feeling that everyone has learned and grown up. Another great Vande Velde.
  • Rachel
    January 1, 1970
    Some of it seemed confusing or not right, but I still enjoyed it. Did not expect it to end the way it did. I liked the chapter titles. 3/4*?
  • Kathy
    January 1, 1970
    I have always enjoyed VVV's books and this was no different. It was fun to read an an interesting take on "The Frog Prince."
  • Charlotte
    January 1, 1970
    Cute. Funny. Couldn't guess what was going to happen, unique little adventure.
  • Sharon Tyler
    January 1, 1970
    Frogged by Vivian Vande Velde is a children's chapter book. Princess Imogene has a hard time fitting into the princess mold. According to the book The Art of Being a Princess (third revised edition), which her mother gives her in preparation of her thirteenth birthday, one should be able to say of a princess “She was as good as she was beautiful.” When Imogene goes to a nearby pond she discovers a talking frog who claims to be a prince under a spell. However, when she kisses the frog no prince a Frogged by Vivian Vande Velde is a children's chapter book. Princess Imogene has a hard time fitting into the princess mold. According to the book The Art of Being a Princess (third revised edition), which her mother gives her in preparation of her thirteenth birthday, one should be able to say of a princess “She was as good as she was beautiful.” When Imogene goes to a nearby pond she discovers a talking frog who claims to be a prince under a spell. However, when she kisses the frog no prince appears, however she is turned into a frog while the other returns to his usual form. She is soon in search of the truth, and a way to change herself back into her princess shape without tricking them into becoming a frog. The adventure offers some laughs and unexpected twists and turns.Frogged is another fantastic fantasy or twisted fairy tale by Vivian Vande Velde. Imogene is not the typical princess, or maybe she is since most of the royal ladies I read about would much rather be outdoors than having polite conversation or sewing. She is smart, occasionally a little whiny, but steps up and does what needs to be done. She is ethically strong enough that she does not want to trick anyone like she has been tricked, even if it means staying a frog. Luella is a bit boy obsessed, and makes mistakes because of it, but she seems good at heart. Bertie is a handsome but selfish boy, who wants the girl and the main acting roles and will lie to get them. The leader of the acting troupe is ruthless and a horrible play writer, but is willing to try just about anything to make a dollar. Imogene is by far my favorite character of the book, which is good because it is her story. She might have started a little whiny, but as she grows and faces a series of challenges as a frog she discovers how sheltered she had been and her true cleverness come out to save the day on several occasions.I recommend Frogged to middle grade readers that enjoy fractured fairy tales and stories about characters that can save themselves, not by physical force or magic, but by using their heads. The is a little different from the usual fare from the author, but is a fun and engaging read for a weekend or for a family to read together.
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  • Elizabeth
    January 1, 1970
    Frogged is Vande Velde’s take on the “Frog Princess” fairy tale (where the princess who kisses the frog gets turned into a frog herself), but she does it by circumventing everything about the fairy tale and adding a twist to the spell. It’s a refreshing read, but it’s also amazingly funny mostly due to Imogene.Imogene, for being only twelve, has fantastic snark. She gets into full-form during her travels with the theater company, and what takes the cake is that she’s a frog, so just picture a fr Frogged is Vande Velde’s take on the “Frog Princess” fairy tale (where the princess who kisses the frog gets turned into a frog herself), but she does it by circumventing everything about the fairy tale and adding a twist to the spell. It’s a refreshing read, but it’s also amazingly funny mostly due to Imogene.Imogene, for being only twelve, has fantastic snark. She gets into full-form during her travels with the theater company, and what takes the cake is that she’s a frog, so just picture a frog making a sarcastic comment and you get 80% of what Imogene does while with the traveling theater. She also becomes a crow and flies around and discusses the finer points of poetry with Ned, the leader of the company.As I said, Vande Velde subverts a lot of this fairy tale, so that nothing is as it seems: not the “frog prince,” or the story he gives, or the spell, or the witch, or Imogene’s route out of froggery. I’m glad that she doesn’t play it straight, since Frogged has a lot more charm and memorable moments attached to it than E. D. Baker’s The Frog Princess (the “princess gets turned into a frog” fairy tale played straight). And it gives a nice, fresh perspective to the fairy tale, which is always appreciated.One thing that bothered me slightly was that China, Africa, etc. were mentioned but to all intents and purposes the kingdom Imogene’s parent’s rule has no resemblance to any country on Earth, so in that respect the worldbuilding is rather poor if Vande Velde just created this made-up kingdom and squashed it in the world somewhere. Or perhaps it’s supposed to be some sort of fictional kingdom that’s also on Earth, squeezed into Europe somewhere?Overall, Frogged is delightful, an unique, fresh look at the “Frog Princess” fairy tale where Vande Velde doesn’t play by the rules and happily twists everything around while Imogene snarks from her bucket. The worldbuilding is confusing and a little sloppy, in my opinion, but the tale itself is wonderful.
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  • Megan
    January 1, 1970
    Although I'm generally a fan of Vivian Vande Velde's writing, there's not that much to love in Frogged. The set-up (a princess, intending to set a frog prince free, ends up an amphibian herself) is cute, but it's been done before. The heroine, Princess Imogene, is spunky and relatable, with a nice sense of morals, but she's not very deeply developed. She's also not a very effective heroine. She tries to get herself out of the predicaments she finds herself in, but she's basically simply shuttled Although I'm generally a fan of Vivian Vande Velde's writing, there's not that much to love in Frogged. The set-up (a princess, intending to set a frog prince free, ends up an amphibian herself) is cute, but it's been done before. The heroine, Princess Imogene, is spunky and relatable, with a nice sense of morals, but she's not very deeply developed. She's also not a very effective heroine. She tries to get herself out of the predicaments she finds herself in, but she's basically simply shuttled from one plot point to the next by others until the very end. The plot is lightweight, yet it plods along until it reaches its predictable ending. But the biggest problem is that almost all the characters in the story are completely unlikable. Besides the kindhearted, yet spirited Imogene, we're stuck with mean peasant boys, a witch that couldn't care less about the collateral damage of her actions, insufferable actors, and a gullible, lovestruck teenage girl. (view spoiler)[ Luella is supposed to be a sympathetic character and redeemed at the end, but by the time she makes her infinitesimal character development, I simply could not care anymore. (hide spoiler)]Even the random townspeople are the stupidest, most incurious people ever. I didn't care about a single person besides Imogene, and a vague desire to see Ned get his comeuppance (and if other people got theirs too, that would be great.) Yet, at the end, (view spoiler)[ Imogene inexplicably decides to cover up for Harry, Tolf, and Ned. (Surely she could explain Ned's part without implicating Luella. At least to her parents, if not openly.) WHY? Two of those three deliberately refused to help her, knowing her situation. Tolf is excused from helping her, but he should have come forward as soon as he realized she really was the princess. They all deserve SOME kind of punishment. (hide spoiler)]. As a result, the attempt at a "happily ever after" fell flat. There are so many good "fractured fairytale" middle grade books that this one isn't really worth the time, even if it is a quick read.
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  • Bonnie (A Backwards Story)
    January 1, 1970
    Looking for a fun, new adventure loosely based on a classic fairy tale? FROGGED might be just the book for you. In an E.D.Baker/Disney-esque spin, kissing a frog has a way of rebounding and turning oneself into a frog. Unlike the former two, however, the frog turns back into a human, leaving his savior as a frog in his place. Harry is no prince, either, but a wainwright’s son. He doesn’t care that he’s turned the royal princess into a frog, either. He’s from a poor family overrun with kids. Why Looking for a fun, new adventure loosely based on a classic fairy tale? FROGGED might be just the book for you. In an E.D.Baker/Disney-esque spin, kissing a frog has a way of rebounding and turning oneself into a frog. Unlike the former two, however, the frog turns back into a human, leaving his savior as a frog in his place. Harry is no prince, either, but a wainwright’s son. He doesn’t care that he’s turned the royal princess into a frog, either. He’s from a poor family overrun with kids. Why shouldn’t he have a little luck, too?Our plucky princess, Imogene, refuses to curse another human into frog form in order to save herself. Instead, she sets off to find the witch who cursed Harry, only to find that it can’t be undone. Imogene will remain a frog unless she can get someone else to kiss her and transfer the enchantment. As she tries to make her way home, she’s captured by a couple of teenagers named Luella and Bertie, who are running away to be actors and want to add a talking frog to their act. Imogene has no way out, especially when the troupe’s owner realizes that Imogene is who she says but doesn’t care, so long as a talking frog brings in the money. Will Imogene ever find a way to return home and become a human frog again?FROGGED is great for middle-grade readers and will appeal to children as they follow Imogene on her journey. There are a couple of small adult elements slipped in, but they’re done in a way that kids won’t notice or wonder about, but adults will pick up on. They can relate to Imogene, who doesn’t want to read about a stuff book about how to be a princess that her mother’s making her study. They’ll feel bad when, only trying to help, she’s forced to give her first kiss away to a frog, who turns out to be a mean boy. They’ll feel as mad as Imogene does when she’s tricked, handfed lies, and held against her will. FROGGED is a fun, light read about a princess forced to masquerade as a frog after being caught up in an unfortunate curse.
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  • Tami
    January 1, 1970
    Frogged is an inventive twist on the traditional fairy tale of The Frog Prince. Princess Imogene will be thirteen in two short weeks. Her mother--much to Imogene's annoyance--has given her a book entitled The Art of Being a Princess, suggesting that she might want to read a chapter every day until her birthday.Frustrated after just the book's Foreword Princess Imogene takes a walk down to the pond. There she finds a frog who claims to be a prince under an enchantment. He appeals to the princess Frogged is an inventive twist on the traditional fairy tale of The Frog Prince. Princess Imogene will be thirteen in two short weeks. Her mother--much to Imogene's annoyance--has given her a book entitled The Art of Being a Princess, suggesting that she might want to read a chapter every day until her birthday.Frustrated after just the book's Foreword Princess Imogene takes a walk down to the pond. There she finds a frog who claims to be a prince under an enchantment. He appeals to the princess to break his enchantment by kissing him (which, of course, makes absolute sense in a fairy tale). He will thus be restored to his original royal, human self.Although not thrilled at the prospect of kissing a slimy frog, Princess Imogene is trusting and kind at heart. She agrees to help the frog and kisses him. He is, indeed, restored to his human form--but (1) he is NOT a prince; and (2) he failed to inform her that his enchantment cannot be broken--only passed along. When Imogene kisses the frog and he regains human form she is transformed into a frog in his place.Left to fend for herself since the callous youth who tricked her into taking his place as a frog has no intention of helping her, Imogene must discover her own strengths and ingenuity. She does so in adventures that are by turns funny, harrowing, touching and inspiring. They include an unsympathetic witch, a not-terribly-bright, somewhat boy-crazy farm girl who shows kindness and eventually friendship. Princess Imogene Eustacia Wellington's stage debut with an awful acting troupe as a talking, "flying" frog in a crow costume is a hilarious highpoint.With an ingenious and deceptively simple conclusion Frogged is a fun, easy read. Its strong female lead is an excellent role model for young readers of both genders in independent thinking, perseverance, and--surprisingly--the graciousness of forgiveness. It's a brilliant "fractured" fairy tale (one of my favorite genres) and I enjoyed every minute of it!
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