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Charles and Claudine by Harold Berson
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Charles and Claudine

by Harold Berson

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When Antoine the woodcutter, and his wife Antoinette, are blessed with their fourteenth child, they struggle to think of a likely candidate for godmother. Then the witch Grisnel appears, transforming little Claudine into a frog, in a fit of anger at having her offer to play that role refused. Eventually relenting, Grisnel lessens the force of her curse by granting Claudine's family three wishes. And so our heroine ends up a talking frog, living in a clean marsh, and destined to marry a handsome man. But will Charles, the farmer's son with whom Claudine eventually comes to live, be that man...?

This engaging French folktale reminded me of the the Grimms' The Frog Prince, although the solution - in which Charles becomes a frog, rather than Claudine a woman - is more reminiscent of contemporary revisionist retellings, like E.D. Baker's The Frog Princess. Fairy-tale fans will enjoy Charles and Claudine, both as an interesting variant on this tale-type, and as a vehicle for Harold Berson's full-color illustrations. ( )
1 vote AbigailAdams26 | Apr 29, 2013 |
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The witch Grisnel helps Charles, a handsome young man, and Claudine, an exquisite little frog, overcome their differences and live happily ever after.

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