cover image Frogkisser!


Garth Nix. Scholastic Press, $18.99 (384p) ISBN 978-1-338-05208-4

Princess Anya just wants to be left alone to study magic, but her feckless older sister, Morven, keeps falling madly in love with visiting princes—until their “evil stepstepfather,” Duke Rikard, transforms the suitors into frogs. Now Rikard is threatening to usurp the crown and send Anya off to a boarding school from which she’s unlikely to return. What’s a princess to do? In this rollicking comic fantasy from Old Kingdom creator Nix, Anya sets off on a quest to find allies and revert the transformed royals by assembling the ingredients for “Fairly Reliable Transmogrification Reversal Lip Balm,” accompanied by her sister’s most recent suitor, Prince Denholm (currently a frog); her faithful if overzealous dog, Ardent; and a boy-turned-newt named Shrub. Along the way, she’s dogged by Rikard’s weasel assassins and a series of journalists, all named Gerald the Herald, who constantly shout headlines like “The Frogkisser Sets Forth! Herald Detained by Druid Accomplice! More News to Come!” Well-developed characters, an unfailing sense of humor, and polished prose make Nix’s uproarious adventure a pleasure to read. Ages 12–up. Agent: Jill Grinberg, Grinberg Literary Management. (Feb.)