Beware of the Frog by William Bee
It might be a bit of a stretch to call this a fairy tale retelling, but I’m afraid it’s just too wonderfully weird for me to skip. You see, Mrs. Collywobbles lives in a little house next to a dark wood with only her little green frog for protection. As terrible creatures emerge from the wood, Mrs. Collywobbles shelters in her house, waiting for her frog to keep her safe. Written with the type of pattern that young children love (because they can help complete the pages) and some nonsense words, the language of the book is clearly meant to appeal to children. Whether they find the frog’s eating of these creatures to be hilarious or gruesome will depend entirely on the readers. The ending, in which Mrs. Collywobbles herself is turned into a frog (yes, through the traditional kissing method) is a surprise twist, which (probably unsurprisingly) turns out to be a bit gruesome as well, in a way that may upset readers who were totally fine with the frog dispatching various “bad guys.” I won’t spoil it for you, but do flip to the end and check it out before sharing it with a child.
Great for: Some children will be able to make the connection between this and the much lighter Bark, George. I believe there are also many children who would find this to be a hilarious read aloud.
Sex, Nudity, Dating – The pet frog has a little heart above his head after Mrs. Collywobbles transformation.
Profanity – None.
Death, Violence and Gore – Various characters are eaten. We can tell they’ve been eaten because their limbs protrude from the frog’s mouth.
Drugs, Alcohol and Smoking – None.
Frightening or Intense Things – None.