Kiss Me! (I'm a Prince!)
written by Heather McLeod; illustrated by Brooke Kerrigan
2011 (Fitzhenry and Whiteside)
Source: Mebane Public Library
Ella is playing basketball when she is approached by a talking frog. The frog asks that she kiss him so he can turn back into a prince. Ella picks up the frog and stuffs him in her pocket. The frog continues to plead his case, explaining to Ella that she would have a life of a princess if she would only kiss him. It would be a lavish life of studying and wearing fancy clothes. Ella would rather have a talking frog so she stuffs him back in her pocket. The frog soon learns that life with Ella is delightful. She likes to play hopscotch and Simon Says and go swimming in the pond. He has so much fun that he forgets about being a prince until the royal courtier takes him away. When the frog arrives at the castle, his mother and father command everyone to kiss him. None of the castle contingent can break the spell. His fairy godmother says it will take the kiss of a true friend and who could be truer than Ella? Will she kiss the frog and break the spell?
Kiss Me! is a sweet twist on the traditional fairy tale of the frog prince. The character of Ella is charming in her outlook on life. Right before the ending is a great opportunity to work with students on prediction. I would ask them to decide what Ella should do. You could say "What are the consequences of kissing the frog?" Author Heather McLeod wisely leaves out just enough information for readers to stop and think before continuing to the end. The ending stays true to the characters and proves satisfying.
Canadian Teacher Magazine