The Frog’s Kiss by James Mayhew and Toto

publication date: May 22, 2023
author/source: Lesley Lodge

The Frog's Kiss


Fairy tales and folk tales have been popular for centuries. The Smith and the Devil is thought to date back some 6,000 years. Most fairy tales have a moral, an element of magic and some jeopardy. Many are about the pursuit of love. The Grimms Brothers' The Frog Prince fairy tale  has been retold in many different ways and even made into films. The Frog’s Kiss takes this conventional fairy tale and introduces a big twist. It’s subtly and beautifully done, and for a modern young audience. The illustrations are fabulous, the colours soft. Oh yes, and there’s a happy ending. 


Obviously given the length of picture book for young children I can’t give away too much plot.  The book’s marketing “blurb” should give you the gist: “Inspired by a picture he sees in a book, a lonely frog decides to go in search of a kiss. But will he ever find a princess who will make his heart skip a beat? Or does this frog’s fairy-tale ending involve someone unexpected…?”


I bought my copy of the book at the book launch event for it, at the Linton Children’s Book Festival. New author/illustrator Toto and Award-winning author & illustrator James Mayhew presented the book by acting out the story with puppet frog (green of course!) and a “real” handsome prince.  The audience – which included dozens of young children and parents – joined in enthusiastically to the Q and A session afterwards and Toto live-painted a portrait of one of the characters from the children’s shouted-out suggestions. Girls were just as taken with the story as boys. 


I bought one for my granddaughter and one for my great niece. Definitely recommended.


The Frog's Kiss By James Mayhew and Toto. Published is by Scholastic and available as an ebook and paperback.


PWT rating:♥♥♥♥♥ 


Lesley Lodge is the author of Wayland's Revenge, a historical crime thriller and you can find out about that and her other books here.