Moranville, Sharelle Byars. Ill. by Niki Daly, The Hop. Disney Hyperion, 2012. Pgs. 276. Language: G, Violence: PG, Sexual Content: PG.
Tad, a young toad, wakes up from his winter sleep with the memory of a horrible dream about Rumbler, an earth-eating machine. He realizes that the machine is on its way to destroy his homeland, Toadville-by-Tumbledown. His people’s only hope is a prophecy that talks of a toad who will find the Queen of the Hop and kiss her. Only the kiss can save Toadville, but it will come at a price. Meanwhile, Taylor, a young girl coming to terms with her grandmother’s cancer, discovers that her grandmother’s favorite pond has been sold to make a strip mall. Her only hope is to head to Reno and enter the Queen of the Hop contest and win. Will the two’s paths meet? Will they both be able to save the land they love?
A fun mixture of fantasy and realism in one, this book has a fun plot that does a great job of holding the reader’s interest. The characters are well-developed and likable. Readers who like fairy tales, adventure, humor, and magical realism will like this fractured retelling of the Frog Prince. El (4-6), MS. ADVISABLE. Reviewer: Jessica Moody, Library Media Specialist, Olympus Jr. High.