“ONCE, IN OLDEN TIMES, when wishes still had power, there lived a king. All of his daughters were beautiful, but the youngest was the loveliest of all. The sun itself, which sees so much, was dazzled when its light shone on her face.”

Thus begins The Frog Prince, the classic fairy tale, best known in the version set down by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm. When a young princess meets a frog after she drops her favorite toy into a well, she thoughtlessly makes a promise to love him if he retrieves it. But once the frog fetches her toy, she runs away—until the king insists that she keeps her word. Frightened and repulsed by the frog, she is forced to let him share her meal and must then let him share her room.


Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm were born in 1785 and 1786 near Frankfurt, Germany. In their early twenties, they began the linguistic studies that would culminate in their collected editions of folk- and fairy tales. They got their stories from peasants and villagers, and sometimes from already-published works from other cultures. Jacob did much of the research; Wilhelm put the stories into literary form.

Binette Schroeder is a highly acclaimed illustrator, painter, and portrait photographer. Among her books for children are "The Wonderful Adventure of Baron Munchhausen", which was named a New York Times Best Illustrated Book in 1978. Binette Schroeder lives in Munich, Germany, with her husband, Peter Nickl, a children's book author and a lawyer.

Naomi Lewis is a writer, editor, critic, and distinguished historian of children's literature. She is well-known for her faithful translations of the stories of Andersen and Grimm. She lives in London.

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