I cannot apologize for the simple fact of deciding to review children’s books because they always seem to capture my attention and expand my imagination! I actually feel that an occasional return to simplicity and child-like experiences allow us to enjoy the finer things in life and reduce the strain of severity with which we try to see the world.
Marco Somà illustrates The Queen of Frogs with elegance and humility. A balance of earth tones and sophistication describe this little community of frogs. The marriage of simplistic illustration with a vintage touch is enough to have us purchase the book, solely for the message brought to life through Marco’s craft. It is almost as if Somà illustrates The Queen of Frogs through a lens of historical morality. We’re reminded of the truth that light brings. After all, darkness disappears once light enters. We have seen truth brought to light throughout history and this story is no different. The reality this community lives in and the rule it lives under are brought to light in a surprising, romantic way.
Davide Cali is a talented and gifted children’s writer with a bright future ahead. The Queen of Frogs was a lovely read initially but with further thought there are some key elements that could be developed further or perhaps differently depending on Cali’s vision for this tale.
- The first noticeable characteristic is that it is much like an Aesop fable, only without a clear ending moral. While Cali’s vision may not have been to make such a distinction or include a strong lesson, I personally believe this brings hope and guidance to his decided audience. Children are looking for direction, beliefs, and are often confused when not given clarity to that which they seek.
- As well, the scene of mud balls being thrown at the queen is very disheartening to read and not one I would like to share with a young child. I believe fully in the idea and truth of reconciliation/rehabilitation and do not support a bullying nature. Especially when it is prominent for so many.
With those things said, Cali does teach a valuable lesson to us; a title does not equal influence. Influence is built through developing relationships, positively. We seen that the chosen frog, who becomes queen, did nothing to deserve her title and instead treated others poorly and with contempt. We learn that if we are to have loyal friendships, working relationships, we must cultivate those through trust, communication, and appreciation.
Finally, through the wit of the community the queen’s influence is usurped and balance is restored. The last, beautiful lesson Cali teaches us is this; what we believe may be our reality could be caused by an accidental circumstance and therefore should be handled with gratitude and thankfulness, never knowing when our situation can completely change. Cali ends this story with a beautiful plot twist that I will be sure not to spoil for you but absolutely encourage you to read at its’ upcoming release!
Special thanks to NetGalley and Davide Cali for letting me provide an honest review and to Marco Somà for creating beautifully, elegant illustrations!
rating: 4/5 stars
Check out, The Queen of the Frogs MARCH 20, 2017!