The Curse of the Vassal Fruit starts out as a light and fluffy children’s story, but by the end, Eric Sietsema’s narrative has some hop to it. Two young protagonists, a frog prince with dreams of becoming a hero and a fairy princess obsessed with tea parties and acting important, have set aside their childish concerns and begun a journey to confront a threat to their peoples and allies. This journey will continue in future installments. Although it’s enjoyable by itself, the novel also features Easter egg–like references to other well-known fantasy stories, which older readers will find humorous and younger readers will enjoy as they grow older and read those other works.
Best for: Elementary-aged kids.
Discern: Minimal objectionable content, such as the child characters’ immaturity, the frog prince’s disobedience to elders, and the fairy princess’s vain and bossy behavior.