Sunday, June 1, 2008

Davey's Blue-Eyed Frog by Patricia Harrison Easton

I recommend this book for: grades 1-2

Davey is playing by the pond, catching tadpoles with his neighbor Becky when he finds something even better than a tadpole. He finds a frog – and it talks! She claims to be an enchanted princess who needs to be kissed soon to change back, but Davey isn't so sure . . . and if she is telling the truth, he wants the frog to put on a good show for his friends before he smooches her. What could have been an interesting fantasy for low-level readers becomes essentially a moral dilemma - should he kiss her and free her, or wait to show her off for his friends and take the chance that the time allotted by the spell will pass?
This is certainly a serviceable story, but it really didn't do much for me. One thing I hated was how Easton kept hitting the reader over the head with the fact that Davey wasn't very responsible about pets, to create fear for what was going to happen to Princess Amelia. I'd still recommend it, especially to boys who are ready for early chapter books, but it's not a favorite.

But the pros sure seem to dig it . . .

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