Review Detail

 
Kids Fiction
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
5.0

A Creative and Thoughtful Retelling

'Prince Ribbit,' written by Jonathan Emmett and illustrated by Poly Bernatene, is a splendid story with an interesting and all-too-true moral - "just because it's in a book doesn't mean it's true." In an age where people are apt to believe much of what they hear, whether it is on the Internet, on TV, or elsewhere, this story truly teaches a lesson and backs up the idea that you really have to read closely - and often between the lines - to determine the truth of the matter.

Princesses Arabella and Lucinda are typical girls. Starting the story off by reading a fairytale, they claim that if they were to ever meet a talking frog, they wouldn't make the mistake of treating him poorly. On a slightly ironical note, it is interesting that two such vain princesses would even be interested in conversing with a frog, let alone kissing him on the off-chance he would turn into a prince. They don't even like the frog they meet at first, shrieking at him to get away - until he speaks. But, I digress.

Princess Martha, on the other hand, has her feet planted firmly on the ground. As she watches her sisters treating the frog she found like he's royalty, she questions why they're being so kind to him. Their response relies on their feelings about fairytale stories that show frogs turning into handsome princes. Even though Martha tries to convince them, through actual nonfiction books, that frogs are just frogs and aren't necessarily enchanted, the sisters spout back Martha's own line - "just because it's in a book doesn't mean it's true." This is quite a fascinating way of showing how people can disagree using the same arguments.

As the book concludes, Martha and the frog continue to show readers, as well as Martha's sisters, that the moral of the story is quite flexible, and you never quite know exactly how everything is going to end up.

A creative and thoughtful retelling of an age-old fairytale, 'Prince Ribbit' will not only be enjoyable and entertaining for readers, but will allow them to think outside the box and make their own determinations and predictions about how the story might turn out in the end.

Good Points
Even though Martha tries to convince her sisters, through actual nonfiction books, that frogs are just frogs and aren't necessarily enchanted, the sisters spout back Martha's own line - "just because it's in a book doesn't mean it's true." This is quite a fascinating way of showing how people can disagree using the same arguments. It would be a great way of teaching about disagreements and how to deal with them.
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