Reviews for Horned Toad Prince
Booklist Monthly Selections - #2 May 2000
Ages 4^-7. The story of the frog prince gets a sassy update and a brand new southwestern setting. Reba Jo is a rider and a roper, but she's not supposed to go down to the creek. So when she loses her hat in the creek, she knows she's in a heap of trouble. An ugly horned toad offers to help her, and she agrees, even though there are some odious conditions, including spoonfeeding him chili, letting him sleep in her hat, and warbling him a song. Reba Jo gets the hat and breaks the deal, but when the toad follows her home, she has to comply and provide a kiss to boot. The rest of the story will be familiar--with one twist: this handsome prince wants no part of the snotty cowgirl. This is fun through and through. Hopkins' telling sizzles with southwestern panache, complete with Spanish words interspersed in the text. Austin, a graphic artist, provides pictures that have the smoothness and gloss of computer-generated art, and uses an exaggerated style that will make kids grimace and giggle at the same time. Fractured fun at its best. ((Reviewed May 15, 2000)) Copyright 2000 Booklist Reviews
Horn Book Guide Reviews 2000 Fall
In this retelling, cowgirl Reba Jo loses her new hat in a well, and a horned toad helps her to recover it in exchange for three favors. After the compulsory kiss, he turns into a Spanish prince but, in an unexpected twist, doesn't stick around to ""ride off into the sunset"" with her. The Spanish words in the text--a somewhat gimmicky element--are often used or spelled incorrectly, and the garish illustrations are unattractive. Glos. Copyright 2000 Horn Book Guide Reviews
Publishers Weekly Reviews 2000 March #1
Hopkins (Tumbleweed Tom on the Texas Trail) spices up the Brothers Grimm's "The Frog Prince" by setting it in the American Southwest and casting its heroine as a spunky cowgirl. Here, horse-riding, lasso-wielding Reba Jo loses not a ball, but her brand-new hat, down the bottom of a dusty well, from whence a homely horned toad retrieves it. His price Reba Jo must feed him some chili, play him a song on her guitarra and let him take a siesta in her sombrero. The unusual perspectives and broad humor of Austin's (Thirteen Monsters Who Should Be Avoided) over-the-top airbrush illustrations in shades of violet and gold capture Reba Jo's comical disgust as she tries to wiggle out of her unpalatable bargain as well as the ugly toad's insouciant charm as he connives his way free from his curse. Is marriage in store for our plucky heroine and the handsome caballero she frees with her kiss? The deliciously surprising double-twist ending leaves readers free to decide for themselves. Ages 4-8. (Mar.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
School Library Journal Reviews 2000 April
K-Gr 3-An entertaining version of "The Frog Prince" with a Texas twist. Reba Jo spends her days alone, playing her guitar or riding the lonesome prairie roping everything in sight. One day, her new cowgirl hat blows off and lands at the bottom of a dried-up well. A pudgy horned toad, seeing Reba Jo's predicament, offers to bring her the hat in exchange for "tres peque-os favors": some chili, a song, and a nap in her hat. The text is interspersed with 25 Spanish words and short phrases easily identified in italics and smoothly defined within the text. A word list with a pronunciation guide is appended. Airbrushed, luminous artwork is reminiscent of the work of Berkeley Breathed in its exaggeration and energy; the perspective, with various slants and angles, makes each illustration a treat. The characters, bursting from their confinement within the frames, will evoke smiles. For example, after eating chili, the sated toad rests on a red chili pepper, one leg draped over the side of the bowl, while splatters of tomato sauce and kidney beans stain the pages. The humorous tale ends as the toad-now-turned-prince thanks Reba Jo for the kiss that freed him from the spell he was under and prepares to leave. The last page reveals the girl wordlessly twirling her lasso to capture the unwary prince, while the red sun sets in the west.-Maryann H. Owen, Racine Public Library, WI Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.