From the first page of this enchantingly told tale, the jaunty Valentino and his dreams will win readers' hearts. Like a good young frog, he believes everything his mother tells him; he even takes her literally when she dubs him ``my little prince.'' When his pals make fun of his regal airs, Valentino sets off in his snappy roadster to find his ``princess in the castle high in the mountains.'' He befriends a homeless bird en route and then watches as little Lucy sprouts at an alarming rate--especially alarming given a stork's taste for frogs (one night at bedtime, ``Valentino tied a ribbon around her beak--just in case''). When they reach the castle, Lucy, who has metamorphosed into a stately stork, wings away; and a disheartened Valentino finds he's suitor number 342 in the princess line. Heading for home, the roadster breaks down and Valentino is rescued by a familiar stork, who looks just like a princess to the newly enlightened frog. Bos gracefully intertwines many subtle lessons throughout his droll, atmospheric narrative. From bucolic mountain landscapes to a parade of peevish frog suitors, De Beer's pictures are a winning accompaniment. Ages 5-8. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 07/01/1970 Release date: 07/01/1945 Genre: Children's
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