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The Frog Princess: A Tlingit Legend From Alaska

The Frog Princess: A Tlingit Legend From Alaska

by Eric A. Kimmel, Rosanne Litzinger (Illustrator)
After rejecting all of her human suitors, the daughter of the village headman finds her life's happiness among the frogs in the village lake, in this mesmerizing retelling of the Tlingit legend.


After rejecting all of her human suitors, the daughter of the village headman finds her life's happiness among the frogs in the village lake, in this mesmerizing retelling of the Tlingit legend.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
The beautiful daughter of the Tlingit village headman scorns all the suitors for her hand, claiming that she would rather marry a frog. A strange young man who turns out to be from the Frog People takes her at her word, bringing her to his people at the bottom of the lake to marry her. Her mourning parents keep searching for her, finally demanding that the frog chief give her back. When she returns she is unhappy, asks to go back to the lake, and one day disappears. Years later, a frog tells a traveler that when he reaches a certain village he should report to the headman that his daughter is well and happy with her husband and children. Litzinger's highly stylized opaque and transparent watercolors depict both people and frogs in mostly double-page settings that are mystical, with little or no suggestion of the American Northwest. Clothing and several masks do relate to the Tlingit style, while the women's long, straight, black hair is decorative and culturally suggestive. The popping bulls' eyes of the frogs are focal points. Page layouts are particularly strong in design, contributing to the emotional content. This story lends itself to comparisons and contrasts with many related folk tales. The author adds a note about the background of the story, while the artist discusses the symbolism of frogs and water, and her use of color. 2006, Holiday House, Ages 4 to 8.
—Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
K-Gr 4-In this variant of a Tlingit legend, the headman's beautiful daughter rejects all suitors, proclaiming to one who has slightly bulging eyes, "Why I would sooner marry a frog from our lake!" That night, a handsome stranger with slightly bulging eyes and long fingers leads her down a row of steps under the lake surface to join the Frog People. The rest of the story relates how her parents try to get her back. Bright swaths of watercolors illuminate the landscapes and backgrounds. The blankets that the Native People wear are mostly a solid color, although, historically, the Chilkat blanket had long fringes and was adorned with abstract designs and animal patterns that represented either the raven or eagle clan, or a family. The chief has a full beard that looks more typical of a Viking, and his skin color varies, even within an individual depiction of his face. An additional purchase.-Kirsten Cutler, Sonoma Library, CA Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
In this transformation tale, a princess says that she would rather marry a frog than one of her many suitors, and the carelessly tossed-off statement comes true. The girl goes off with her magically handsome frog prince and enjoys her watery life although her parents mourn for her. When her father threatens to drain their lake, the frog people bring her back to land. The determined girl finds a way to return to the frogs and they leave that region forever. The story is gracefully told and there is limited use of Tlingit imagery in the animal headdresses worn by some male figures. The illustrator explains that the princess's untraditional yellow robe is a way to show the young woman's individualism, but the attractive watercolors lack a strong feeling for this unique cultural group. (author's and illustrator's notes) (Picture book/folktale. 6-9)

Product Details

Holiday House, Inc.
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
8.60(w) x 11.30(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

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