I am a sucker for a great picture book and if you are too, or you have a little one in your life who loves story-time, then do I have the story for you! I recently received a copy of Kiss Me! (I’m a Prince!) (Fitzhenry & Whiteside) and was immediately enchanted. This story, written by Heather McLeod and illustrated by Brooke Kerrigan, is a retelling of the classic tale The Frog King with some delightful twists. A young girl named Ella comes across a talking frog that says he is a prince. Following tradition, the frog tells Ella that if she kisses him he will turn back into a human. But Ella defies convention and refuses to kiss him because she’d rather play with a talking frog than be a princess.
Ella is smart and determined. She definitely has her priorities in order: fun and friendship above wealth and royalty. I admire that. She reminds us all of the joys of being a child. Sure studying and responsibility are important, but fun and games have their place too. After all, isn’t laughter the best medicine? Kiss Me! (I’m a Prince!) made me want to go swimming, get dirty, and play in the sun. It is a story that will put a smile on even the grumpiest of froggy faces.
And Kerrigan’s illustrations cannot be forgotten. Beautiful watercolour pictures bring Ella and her froggy friend to life. I especially love the frog’s perturbed frowns and the crown-wearing royal cat. The illustrations are full of such playfulness I feel sure Ella herself would approve.