Reviews for Frog Princess of Pelham


Booklist Monthly Selections - #2 March 1997
Gr. 5^-7. "The Frog Prince" is a fairy tale that has been fractured more than once. This time Conford gives it a go for middle-grade audiences. Chandler, a wealthy orphan, lives with her cousin. He doesn't care about her, and her friends may just like her for her swimming pool. Her cousin goes off to Europe believing Chandler will be at survival camp, but there's a change in plan after Danny, the school's prince of popularity, kisses her on a bet and turns her into a frog. Most of the fun comes from Conford's signature witty dialogue and the nod to pop culture as Chandler tries to solve her problem by going on a TV talk show. But the story gets silly at the end (enter the government) and also lacks internal logic. There is no real justification for Chandler's turning into a frog, and certainly no reason for why or when she changes back. Best not look at this too closely; just enjoy the funnier moments. ((Reviewed March 15, 1997)) Copyright 2000 Booklist Reviews

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Horn Book Guide Reviews 1997
This comic modern fairy tale leaps into action when a kiss turns a shy, standoffish rich girl into a frog. Despite some clever 1990s details, such as using talk shows to publicize the predicament, the slim novel feels hasty and incomplete. Serious issues, namely the girl's parents' deaths and her guardians' disdain for her, are tossed in with unnerving casualness. Copyright 1998 Horn Book Guide Reviews

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 1997 March #4
The conflicts Chandler endures with her compassionless guardian are small compared to the problems that she is about to face: kissed on a bet by Danny Malone, the wealthy but lonely orphan turns into a frog. Kept in an aquarium by Danny, who is more than a little unnerved by the incident, Chandler adapts to amphibian life while her "keeper" tries to think up a scheme to turn her back into a 15-year-old girl. Conford's (the Jenny Archer series) modernized twist on the frog prince's tale offers some interesting and playful observations from a frog's-eye point of view, but the author's intent remains muddy. There seems to be no rhyme or reason for Chandler's metamorphosis. Her return to a "normal" state occurs spontaneously when she instinctively sheds her skin, not through any special discovery; although the experience spurs some positive changes (including being awarded a new guardian), it is questionable how much insight the heroine has gained. Her renewed trust in friends who were worried about her disappearance feels contrived, and readers are left to wonder if her relationship with Danny ever blossoms into romance. While some readers will enjoy the fanciful elements of the story, others, disturbed by inconsistencies, may wish Conford had gone a little further with her premise. Ages 10-up. (Apr.) Copyright 1998 Publishers Weekly Reviews

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School Library Journal Reviews 1997 June
Danny's kiss, prompted by a bet, turns poor-little-rich-girl Chandler into a frog. Now, she must rely on him to find a solution to her grotesque situation. Chandler is a wealthy orphan and her disinterested cousin/guardian is vacationing in Switzerland. Danny's father is a globe-trotting, tabloid journalist (who might exploit Chandler's plight, if he were to find out). The young people determine that their best hope is to find help by broadcasting their dilemma on TV talk shows. Events build to a rather improbable (and uninspired) climax. Chandler successfully regains human form, but her plight never engages readers' sympathies. Both teens are unremarkable stereotypes. The warped fairy-tale element lends structure to the plot, but Conford's story is a strictly by-the-numbers affair. Copyright 1998 School Library Journal Reviews

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