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Children's LiteratureThe 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