Spells

Emily Gravett, Author, Emily Gravett, Illustrator . Simon & Schuster $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-4169-8270-8

A small green frog stumbles on a book of spells (which is written by “Emily Gribbit”), tries to turn himself into a handsome prince, but suffers a series of glitches. Frog transforms himself into a snake, bird, rabbit and other creatures before getting it right, finally becoming a prince (who is naked, but for a modest cloud around his midsection). The five pages that show Frog's new forms are cut in half horizontally, and children will delight in turning the half-pages, reading the new spells that appear on the left side of each spread and seeing the combined creatures that emerge (a half-prince, half-newt “prewt,” for instance). Gravett remains fascinated by the tension between the flat pages of a book and the three dimensions of the real world; early on, scraps of torn pages from the spell book, heaped against a field of Halloween black, themselves are transformed into a turbulent ocean, castle turrets and a paper doll chain of princesses that look ready to march into readers' laps. Even the jacket and flap copy provide laughs. Another winner from Gravett. Ages 4–8. (Oct.)

Reviewed on: 10/12/2009
Release date: 10/01/2009
Genre: Children's
Hardcover - 25 pages - 978-0-230-01492-3
Paperback - 26 pages - 978-0-230-53136-9
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