With Disney’s Princess and the Frog coming in December, we’ve been thinking a lot about frogs and princesses and princes, especially new twists on the classic fairy tale. I reread the original Grimm’s tale and was surprised that in this version, the princess doesn’t kiss the frog. He sleeps at the end of her bed (hmmm…), and when she wakes up, he’s a handsome prince.
My favorite cartoon when I was about four was Fractured Fairy Tales. Does anyone else remember these cartoons? You can find most of them on YouTube, including the Frog Prince, about a frog who’s turned into a prince, but isn’t too happy about it. Eventually a witch turns both the prince and the princess into frogs, but being a Fractured Fairy tale, they don’t live happily ever after. They’re still bickering at the end, on their new home on the lily pad.
Another funny version of the tale is The Frog Prince Continued by Jon Scieszka, illustrated by Lane Smith, a picture book for ages 5-8, but like their other collaborations, it has crossover appeal to adults. In this version, the princess kisses the frog, who turns into a handsome prince. Of course, they get married and live happily ever after…or do they? The princess can’t stand the prince’s froggy habits. He hops around on the furniture and sneaks off to the lily pond. The prince decides that it would be best if he were changed back to a frog. But finding a witch who will do the job is harder than he expects. All is resolved at the end…This froggy couple “hops off happily ever after.”
Older readers, ages 9-12, will enjoy The Prince of the Pond by Donna Jo Napoli. Having been turned into a frog by a hag, a frog-prince makes the best of his new life as a frog. He falls in love, mates, raises a family, and instills a new kind of thinking into his frog family. He has a hard time talking with his long frog tongue, so he calls himself De Fawg Pin. I love this novel! It’s very sweet, but a bit sad, too. In the end, he’s changed back to a prince and marries a princess, but has to say good-bye to his frog family.
Have you read any other fun versions of the frog prince? If so, let us know!