cover image Jimmy, the Pickpocket of the Palace

Jimmy, the Pickpocket of the Palace

Donna Jo Napoli. Dutton Books, $15.99 (176pp) ISBN 978-0-525-45357-4

Napoli picks up where she left off in The Prince of the Pond, in which a prince turned frog regains his royal corpus only after starting a large and loving frog family. The star of this new adventure is Jimmy, the prince's frog son, who attempts to save the pond from a witch's wicked machinations. His mission leads him to a nearby palace, where an encounter with an ill-tempered princess transforms him into a human boy (being told to stand up, Jimmy confides, ``Slowly I straightened my legs. Standing was so strange. Even with my human body, I didn't see why people did it''). Misunderstandings pile up in this lighthearted romp, only to be swept away with comic legerdemain. The bittersweet undertones of the first novel (and of Napoli's even more memorable The Magic Circle) are replaced by broad humor and almost slapstick sequences. Sure to amuse the target audience. Ages 7-10. (May)