This is such a fun look at a familiar fairy tale turned on its head. The book opens in a quite unusual way. The story is told by a frog. This frog narrator is speaking to another frog, who is acting in a very peculiar, non-amphibian way. It is as if this strange doesn’t know how to act like a frog at all. And what is he doing on the walk outside the witch hag’s house? Why are there human clothes by his side? This poor frog is not himself! But who or what is he? Was he?
Slowly, through the narrator frog’s questions, an appearance by the witch hag, and the strange frog’s questions and behaviors, the reader becomes aware of just who this fawg pin really is. In the meantime, the reader is entertained by the unusual fawg (He can’t say frog or any other words with l’s or r’s.) as he learns how to survive as a frog, but also does battle with a snapping turtle, a water snake, and the hag witch herself. The Fawg Pin, as he calls himself, turns the frog world upside down, and life in the pond will never be the same.
But what happens at the book’s end? It’s a happy ending, or is it? Be sure to pick up the next adventure Jimmy, the Pickpocket of the Palace. (One clue: Jimmy is the frog son of The Fawg Pin.)
Judith Byron Schachner’s illustrations are richly detailed, showing up periodically within the story’s text, adding wonderful accompaniment to this amusing tale.
I want to recommend this book (and its sequels) to fans of fairy tales and quirky retellings.
Recommended by Katherine Stehman, Elementary Librarian, Pennsylvania, USA