The Frog Princess of Pelham

Ellen Conford, Author Little Brown and Company $15.95 (112p) ISBN 978-0-316-15246-4
The conflicts Chandler endures with her compassionless guardian are small compared to the problems that she is about to face: kissed on a bet by Danny Malone, the wealthy but lonely orphan turns into a frog. Kept in an aquarium by Danny, who is more than a little unnerved by the incident, Chandler adapts to amphibian life while her ""keeper"" tries to think up a scheme to turn her back into a 15-year-old girl. Conford's (the Jenny Archer series) modernized twist on the frog prince's tale offers some interesting and playful observations from a frog's-eye point of view, but the author's intent remains muddy. There seems to be no rhyme or reason for Chandler's metamorphosis. Her return to a ""normal"" state occurs spontaneously when she instinctively sheds her skin, not through any special discovery; although the experience spurs some positive changes (including being awarded a new guardian), it is questionable how much insight the heroine has gained. Her renewed trust in friends who were worried about her disappearance feels contrived, and readers are left to wonder if her relationship with Danny ever blossoms into romance. While some readers will enjoy the fanciful elements of the story, others, disturbed by inconsistencies, may wish Conford had gone a little further with her premise. Ages 10-up. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 03/31/1997
Release date: 04/01/1997
Genre: Children's
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