Rating: 4 stars
“Whatever After: Once a Frog” continues the charming fairy tale series by Sarah Mlynowski in which Abby, her brother Jonah, and Prince the dog, all travel through a magic mirror into different fairy tales. In each story, Abby learns something that will help her in her life back home.
They have learned that when they want to travel into fairyland, they must be in front of the basement mirror at midnight and knock three times. Then, Maryrose (the fairy in the mirror) whisks them into a new adventure. This time they start the adventure by accident. They had wanted to talk to Maryrose about Jonah and how the last adventure left him with some of her memories. Every time he remembers something, his head itches. They want to know what to do about it.
But when they knock twice to get her attention, not planning on knocking the third time, and Prince’s tail hits the mirror, that counts as the third knock and they get sent into the fairy tale “The Frog Prince.” Of course, as in all the other fairy tale adventures, things are not as they appear and when Abby accidentally turns the frog back into a prince, it’s not at all what they expected.
But that’s when Maryrose’s memories come in handy and of course, in the end, Abby, Jonah, and Prince are able to defeat evil, right the story, and leave the fairy tale changed for the better. And Abby doesn’t forget what happens in the adventure. She is able to use what she learned to turn a bully into just an unhappy boy. It’s a lesson worth learning as are all the morals of these very-fractured fairy tales. Enjoy!
These are perfect for readers from second grade through fifth grade. Kids will want to read them all, so start with the first one, “Whatever After: Fairest of All,” followed by “Whatever After: If the Shoe Fits,” “Whatever After: Sink or Swim,” “Whatever After: Dream On,” “Whatever After: Bad Hair Day,” “Whatever After: Cold as Ice,” and “Whatever After: Beauty Queen.”
Please note: this review is based on the final hardcover book provided by Scholastic Press for review purposes.