Once Upon A Time (Story of the Frog Prince)
Brothers Grimm ~ illustrated by Elizabeth Webbe
Rand McNally, 1960
The family stayed up a little late last night going to see the HD rerelease of The Wizard of Oz and I have to say... FABULOUS. More than anything, the sets knocked my socks off... geez, and the acting and the costumes and the MUSIC! That film is about as perfect as perfect gets. But I digress. I am also off for a ladies overnight in Austin in a few hours, so this one will have to be quick.
I wanted to say a little something about Rand McNally Junior Elf Books. If you love vintage children's books, you're sure to have run across more than a handful of these little treasures here and there. They are delightful, pocket sized and full of wonderful illustrations and stories. Perfect for little hands and hearts. The Internet is flooded with their images and lots for sale, so if you are really hungry to get started collecting, there are plenty to be had.
This volume in particular was a favorite when I was little, a sweet, small version of the Frog Prince story by the Grimm Brothers. More than any other fairy tale book, its frosted pictures and golden ball entranced me.
Once upon a time a beautiful young princess went into a wood near her father's palace and sat down beside a spring of cool, clear water. She amused herself by tossing up a golden ball and catching it again as it fell. But one time she threw the ball so high that she could not catch it, and it fell into the spring.
Gotta love a story that genuinely begins 'once upon a time'. And so the girl's trouble begins. To retrieve her ball, she makes a deal with a frog... but when it comes time to pay, the spoiled princess balks but keeps her word. Forced to eat and sleep with the slimy beast, when she is finally so grossed out by the frog that she flings him against a wall, SURPRISE, he turns into a prince and the two live happily ever after.
Now, I'm not sure what the moral is... be a spoiled brat who reluctantly keeps her word and you will be rewarded with marriage to a hot prince? How knows. What I do know is that I spent many a hour dreaming of the frog and the golden ball and what the lips on the prince must have tasted like. Sweet and luscious like royalty or wet and slimy like the swamp from whence he came? Ha!