Wednesday, January 9, 2008

E. D. Baker

The Frog Princess
by E. D. Baker
Recommended Age: 11+
“Ah-hah!” said the frog. He hopped toward me, his eyes never leaving my face. “I’m delighted to hear that you like me! In that case, would you be so kind as to do me the eensy-weensiest little favor?”
Emma (short for Emeralda) is a big, clumsy princess who likes to visit the swamp just outside the castle crounds and to hang around with her aunt, a witch named Grassina. She has the makings of a witch herself, though she can’t seem to make magic come out right. And one day, while avoiding an obnoxious prince come to call, magic takes a really wrong turn for Emma. For she meets a talking frog who says that if she kisses him, he will become a prince. She does kiss him...but for some reason, she becomes a frog.

And so Emma and Eadric set out on a perilous journey, eating bugs and eluding predators, seeking the witch who made Eadric the way he is so that, perhaps, they can be turned into humans again. But alas, it is not so easy. A different witch—a “Vannabe” witch actually—nabs them and plans to use their tongues and toes in a potion. But with the help of a bat named Li’l Stinker and the unlikely friendship of a snake named Fang, the royal frogs make their escape and set out for Plan B.

It’s a lovely way to imagine being a frog, following the adventures of this charming couple and their friends. This story is full of good humor, romance, narrow escapes, and good, old fashioned, fairy tale magic. The characters talk in an amusing American-accented style, and their relationships are warmed by an agreeable amount of friction. So I think you will enjoy this very pink book, as well as its sequels: Dragon’s Breath and Once Upon a Curse.

Dragon’s Breath
by E. D. Baker
Recommended Age: 11+

Emma is a princess, but she doesn’t act like one. At least, that’s what her mother says. Clumsy, tomboyish, and lacking certain social graces, Emma loses even more points by having a talent for magic and an interest in learning it from her Aunt Grassina, the “Green Witch” whose magic protects the kingdom. Plus, her chances of marrying a respectable prince will sink even lower when word gets around that she spent several days ALONE with Prince Eadric (though no one seems to care that they were both stuck in the form of frogs at the time).

In spite of the queen’s smothering disapproval, Emma goes ahead with her magic studies, and continues to enjoy the friendship of Prince Eadric, who wants her to marry him anyway. But now a creepy, neighboring prince and his land-hungry father are invading the Kingdom, demanding Emma’s hand in marriage AND a good chunk of the Greensward. And just when everyone is counting on the Greenwitch to protect them, Aunt Grassina is totally preoccupied. You see, thanks to a sneaky wizard and a nasty old witch grandmother, Grassina’s intended has been turned into an otter – and she has only four (4) days to get him turned back again.

So, before they can even think about saving the kingdom, Emma and Eadric have to help Grassina save her beloved Haywood. This means a series of scary, hilarious, and magical adventures in land, sea, and sky – a quest for four rare, magical ingredients – a race against time – and encounters with giant sea monsters, talkative crabs, enormous spiders, adorable baby dragons, and others of the gigantic, fire-breathing kind. Not to mention a nasty family curse!

This “cracked fairy tale” sparkles with wit and charm. Giggle, sigh, and thrill to this, the second tale in the series that started with The Frog Princess. The “Tales of the Frog Princess” continue further in Once Upon a Curse and No Place for Magic.

Once Upon a Curse
by E. D. Baker
Recommended Age: 11+

Princess Emma is in love with a prince who wants to marry her. She is also the Green Witch, the most powerful witch in the kingdom. Her range of friends includes a talking dog, a bat named Li’l, and some dragons; and she even enjoys the company of a ghostly grandfather.

So what could trouble her? Well, only one little thing: a curse that will kick in on her sixteenth birthday, condemning her to flee from flowers of every kind. For, if she should touch a flower from age sixteen on, she will become a horrible hag like her grandmother and her aunt before her. Until she can get rid of this family curse, Emma knows that she can never marry her beloved Prince Eadric.

Welcome to the third adventure in the series that started with The Frog Princess and then Dragon’s Breath. In this tale, Emma goes on a quest through time to find out exactly how the family curse came to be...and how to break it.

In the process, she learns some unpleasant realities about the people she was descended from. She also learns to fly, and to change into some pretty amazing shapes at will. Plus, Emma has brushes with harpies, moat monsters, dangerous old enemies, weird new friends, discouraging in-laws-to-be, and an amorous vampire.

But will she really marry Prince Eadric? That’s a matter to be settled in the next book, titled No Place for Magic.

3 comments:

megan said...

I really loved the frog princess series , but i cannot find the 6th book any where.
megan of eva al

megan said...

i was so glad that emmma and eadric got married in the 4th book it made me cry. what happens afterward?
megan of eva al

Cassidy said...

I love the Frog princess when i'm not big on princesses and princes'. But I think Eadric seems like a nice guy. By the way who is Wadwood or something? Grassina's Boy Friend.