Thursday, December 26, 2013

Bite Sized Reviews: The Frog Princess, Cloaked, & Frogged

Bite Sized Reviews at Debz Bookshelf

Because I’m sort of weird, I’ve always loved when multiple things can be creatively worked into fitting under the same theme, and this time around I didn’t even have to do any work! All three of my reviews are about retellings of one of my favorite fairy tales!
The Frog Princess (Tales of the Frog Princess, #1)
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Release Date: November 9th, 2002
Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy
Source: Purchased
When I Read It: May 15th, 2013
Amazon | Goodreads

Princess Emeralda a.k.a. Emma isn't exactly an ideal princess. Her laugh is more like a donkey's bray than tinkling bells, she trips over her own feet and she does not like Prince Jorge, whom her mother hopes she will marry. But if Emma ever thought to escape her troubles, she never expected it to happen by turning into a frog! When convinced to kiss a frog so he might return to being a prince, somehow the spell is reversed and Emma turns into a frog herself! Thus begins their adventure--a quest to return to human form.

Fascinating and hilarious characters ranging from a self-conscious but friendly bat to a surprisingly loyal snake and a wise green witch confirm that readers won't soon forget this madcap story. A fantastic debut from the talented E.D. Baker.

The Frog Princess has all the elements of the classic fairy tale, and then turns it upside down! When an awkward princess and a shady frog meet, you know that it's time for an adventure.

And what an adventure it was! The plot was so much fun, and super cute. I loved all the characters they ran into on their journey to become human again.

I'm surprised it's taken me such a long time to read what is slowly becoming another childhood classic among fairy tale lovers, but I'm happy to say that E.D. Baker has found another faithful reader!

Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: February 1st, 2011
Genre: YA Fantasy
Source: ARCycling
When I Read It: March 13th, 2013
Amazon | Goodreads

I’m not your average hero. I actually wasn’t your average anything. Just a poor guy working an after-school job at a South Beach shoe repair shop to help his mom make ends meet. But a little magic changed it all.

It all started with the curse. And the frognapping. And one hot-looking princess, who asked me to lead a rescue mission.

There wasn’t a fairy godmother or any of that. And even though I fell in love along the way, what happened to me is unlike any fairy tale I’ve ever heard. Before I knew it, I was spying with a flock of enchanted swans, talking (yes, talking!) to a fox named Todd, and nearly trampled by giants in the Everglades.

Don’t believe me? I didn’t believe it either. But you’ll see. Because I knew it all was true, the second I got CLOAKED.

As impossible as it may be, this is my favorite Alex Flinn book! Her novels are all so much fun and incredibly creative, but this beats all the others out by a long shot.

The characters had a timelessness about them, which I think is key in any fairy tale, but at the same time they felt modern and realistic. They were so original and fresh, and very classic Alex Flinn.

The actual plot was just so much fun! It took a handful of fairy tales, most unfamiliar, and craftily mixed them up together in a way that worked so, so well. It was exciting and hilarious, and you were never quite sure what was going to happen.

Alex Flinn is an expert at bringing fairy tales to life in a whole new way, and I can't wait to see what she has in store next!

And bonus points for quoting Les Miserables and Into the Woods!

Publisher: Harcout Children’s Books
Release Date: April 2nd, 2013
Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy
Source: NetGalley
When I Read It: May 4th, 2013
Amazon | Goodreads

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 t undo the witch's spell - or will she be frogged forever?

**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?

Have you read any of these? How would you say they compare to the original tale?


  1. Alex Flinn is one of the author I found this year and fell in love with. I hope to read Cloaked sometime this year. It has been sitting on the library shelf and I have been tempted to grab it several times, but I kept telling myself I had other books that needed to be read. I hope to take the plunge and read it this year.

  2. Frogged looks adorable :D I can't wait to read the frog princess, because I liked another book from this author. I'm familiar with some of Flinn's books and this one sounds like a gem!


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