The Frog Prince, Continued - Jon Scieszka, Steve Johnson I think everyone has at some point wondered what happened after ‘Happily Ever After’. Because as much as one wishes that to be the case for the characters, that is simply not real life and so we are curious to see what that is and how it will play out. While this is kind of for kids, I think this one is more for parents. The Princess and the Prince feel like they must live happily ever after but they simply aren’t. The Princess is angry at the Prince’s leanings toward froggy habits while the Prince is unhappy with the change and the fact that the Princess seems to wish to forget what he once was. Finally he decides the only way to be happy is to return to what he was, a frog.

He goes through several witches in his attempt to reclaim his former ‘happiness’; each we are familiar with as they are more focused on stopping a prince from waking their princess or making sure to be ready for their supper to show up. Fortunately our Prince knows his fairytales and manages to get away in time. Even a fairy godmother turns out to be a bust. Fortunately all changes end at midnight and he runs back to his princess only to find her worried about him. They kiss…and find their happiness together. A truly lovely little book.

One other fun part of the book is the choices the artist makes with the surroundings of the Frog Prince. Lily pad cushions, wallpaper with dragonflies, headboards with cattails-clearly the castle is strongly linked to what he was. A gem for the observant reader is the shape the prince’s shadow takes throughout the book.

I read it as a high school student and don’t think I would have appreciated it very much as a child. The underlying story and message are focused more on things that adults worry and think about, not children. Children knowledgeable in fairy tales will like to see the witches of their favorite tales in their cameos, but I think will find it frankly boring.

This is a picture book to pick up for yourself as your kids browse the library. It serves as a reminder that sometimes happiness is right in front of us, we just have to look at it from a change in point of view.