The Frog’s Kiss

The Frog’s Kiss
James Mathew and Toto

I was knocked out by the beauty of Toto’s misty illustrations for this LGBTQ+ retelling of the frog prince story: it’s such a wonderful debut as a picture book team James and Toto.

The book begins with a frog sitting atop a lily pad when suddenly something falls into the pond. Frog investigates and discovers a book; a book that shows a frog very similar to himself being kissed by a princess. The image of the kiss stirs his froggy heart and he decides to search for a special somebody too.

His quest eventually takes him to a castle surrounded by gorgeous gardens wherein there is a pond with a fountain just like that of the book he’d found.

Having washed off the dust from his travels, frog sits and waits and waits. As the moon rises, three princesses appear, come for the summer ball. Unbeknown to frog, one, so the king and queen hope, will become the bride for their son.

Devastated by what the three princesses say when it’s suggested they might kiss a frog, our frog sits once more on a lily pad feeling stupid. All of a sudden who should approach but a prince who addresses him and having received consent, tenderly picks up the frog and kisses him. And the rest, of course leads to a happily ever after fairy tale ending. After all, everyone deserves that.

It’s no exaggeration to say James and Toto have done the Grimm tale proud. This is a stunner.

One thought on “The Frog’s Kiss

  1. Oh what a wonderful review I have this on my wish list. I love the work of James Mayhew and already have many of his beautifully illustrated stories. Thank you for giving me a further peek inside the book, off to order a copy right now.

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