Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Virginia Lee's 'The Frog Bride'

The AFTS Member Ezine Issue 02: The Frog King, or Iron Henry, is out!
Note: If you are a registered member of the Australian Fairy Tale Society (ie your membership fees are paid up to date), and haven't yet received notice via email, along with the link and secret password, please contact the AFTS via Facebook private message HERE or email them directly at austfairytales@gmail.com. They'll hop-to-it and get your goodies to you ASAP.
We've had frog kings, frog princes and frog princesses on the brain for weeks now and in celebration of completing a great compilation of new frog-themed fairy tale works, packaged into the unique fairy tale magazine, we thought we'd share mythic artist, Virgina Lee's lovely, lovely book The Frog Bride, based on the Russian tale The Frog Tsarevna - a story we love and wish we could have explored much more in the last issue.

Here are her notes (from a couple of years ago) on her first children's book, published in 2008:
My first children’s book ‘The Frog Bride’, undertaken 7 years ago, is a shortened version of The Tsarevna Frog, a traditional Russian folk tale retold here by Antonia Barber. It features a slightly camp Prince Ivan with Princess Vassilisa, who has to take her frogskin off and put it on again, rather a lot. In this quest for true love and acceptance, Vassilisa tirelessly tries to impress and capture the hearts of the prince and the royal court by performing her magic and revealing her innate beauty, when all she really desires is to be fully accepted for her less desirable appearances and habits, frogskin and all. 
 I didn't actually write it myself but it was my choice of story. I chose it mainly because I wanted to illustrate a girl taking off a frog skin. I'm always drawn to the physical transformations in stories and what they symbolize. 
Virginia Lee put a lot of love and artistic skill into the illustrations in this book and it could use some more attention (ie. sales) to boost the demand for more gorgeous illustrated books like it.

Enjoy! (And then go grab yourself a copy, if you haven't already.)

Don't you just love the hung-up frog skin in the wardrobe? Such a lovely touch!

Note: the paperback version has this cover below.

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