What hops and has more allure than almost anything else on four legs? If your answer is a rabbit, I will have to respectfully disagree, because my very best childhood animal memories are of frogs and toads.
To this day, I am a notorious softie for amphibians, so I was delighted to find a children’s book almost custom-tailored for me on NetGalley: The Queen of the Frogs, by Davide Cali.
Frogs, in this book, have a delightful society. They write and sip beverages at lilypad cafes, catch flies, host concerts, and above all, they sing together. Life as a frog is grand–until a mysterious crown falls into the pond, that is, and all the denizens decide that the frog who found it should be queen.
The queen and her advisors quickly put other frogs to work feeding and pampering them. They are so demanding that none of the frogs even have time to sing anymore! Finally, the disgruntled pond-goers issue a challenge to the queen. In the end, the queen loses the crown and pond life is as it should be, with every frog catching their own flies.
Cali’s amphibious tale advertises that it is a book about leadership and the importance of humility, but it reads a bit like Baby’s First Animal Farm. The story reflects on government more than on individual character. The unjust governing class is brought down by the clever laborers, and all becomes idyllic once more.
The arc of the story is cute and appealing on a basic level, but there are no real characters to connect strongly with. The titular queen is the only individual, but she has the least action in the book, and makes few decisions on her own; mostly, she goes along with what the advisors or other frogs suggest.
In spite of the plain, forgettable writing and story, The Queen of the Frogs still made me smile. Marco Soma’s charming illustrations breathe some much-needed life into the book. His quirky realization of quaint, old-timey frog fashions and society is a treat for all ages.
All in All…
- 3/5 sea stars
- Publication March 20, 2017, by Eerdman’s Books for Young Readers
- 38 pages
- For fans of Toy Story, cute frog faces, political science
I received this book free through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.