Book Review: Brave Red, Smart Frog: A New Book of Old Tales by Emily Jenkins, Rohan Daniel Eason



Brave Red, Smart Frog: A New Book of Old Tales is a middle grade book written by Emily Jenkins and illustrated by Rohan Daniel Eason. This is a collect of seven classic fairy tales told in the authors personal style.

There once was a frozen forest so cold, you could feel it through the soles of your boots. It was a strange place where some kisses broke enchantments and others began them. Many said witches lived there -- some with cold hearts, others with hot ovens and ugly appetites -- and also dwarves in tiny houses made of stones. In this icy wood, a stepmother might eat a girl's heart to restore her own beauty, while a woodcutter might become stupid with grief at the death of his donkey. Here a princess with too many dresses grows spiteful out of loneliness, while a mistreated girl who is kind to a crone finds pearls dropping from her mouth whenever she speaks.

Brave Red, Smart Frog: A New Book of Old Tales is a nice collection of classic tales, some more well known than others. I liked that Jenkins stuck to the fairy tale tradition of telling these stories with the same heart, but her own personal touch. The characters are not flat, which often happens with those that are considered known already, rather they are rich in personality and humor. I enjoyed the collection, and think that many others will enjoy the combination of humor and empathy that threads through the stories. The fun illustrations added an extra layer of enjoyment and whimsy- adding a special something to the reading experience as a whole. 


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