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The Frog Prince, a German Fairy Tale

Updated on February 4, 2020
PAINTDRIPS profile image

As a children's book illustrator, Denise has many things to say about the process, her struggles, and children's books on the market today.

F is for the Frog Prince, from my children's book, The FairyTale Alphabet Book, Fairy Tales and Folk Tales from Around the World.
F is for the Frog Prince, from my children's book, The FairyTale Alphabet Book, Fairy Tales and Folk Tales from Around the World. | Source

The FairyTale Alphabet Book

As background for this story, I have to tell how it all began. If you an old friend, you probably know I’ve written and illustrated a children’s alphabet book using fairy tales and folk tales from around the world as prompts for the letters of the alphabet. Some years ago I started it as a thesis project for my illustration degree. The whole project transformed and morphed many times before I was done. Now I am planning a series with several more folktales and fairytales from around the world for each letter of the alphabet.

Thumbnail group off possible illustrations for this story.
Thumbnail group off possible illustrations for this story. | Source

Collage Illustrations

First of all, I didn’t want the typical “A is for Apple” type of alphabet book. It has all been done before. I needed mine to be unique. It was my love of fairy tales that started me on this theme. Second, my idea was to do the illustrations in watercolor by my advisors saw some of my collage work and suggested that I make the illustrations in collage instead. I resisted, knowing that would that collage would take much longer, but I began anyway.

Value Sketch for the illustration
Value Sketch for the illustration | Source

Global Fairytales

After doing R is for Red Riding Hood and J is for Jack in the Beanstalk, I thought I was going to have trouble finding fairy tales for all 26 letters if I stuck to the typical English and Grimm’s Fairy Tales. And that’s when it hit me to be more global. Why not research fairy tales and folk tales from all over the world? This added to my work but in the end, it became very satisfying. You probably know this fairy tale retold many times but originally it was a Grimm fairy tale from Germany.

This one is particularly difficult for me because my thesis advisors simply could not make up their minds. They kept having me make changes. They thought the girl was too realistic, then too cartoonish. They thought no one would know the frog was a prince without a crown so they made me add one. I disagree. The title is the Frog Prince. How could the children no know he was a prince without a crown? It all made me frustrated with the illustration. Altogether, they insisted on 16 different changes.

Color composition for the illustration
Color composition for the illustration | Source

The Frog Prince, A German Fairytale

There once was a very spoiled, bratty princess who wanted everything she saw. No one wanted to be her friend or play with her because she was such a brat. One day playing with her golden ball she accidentally dropped it down a well. There was no way she was going to be able to go down and get it. She stomped her foot and cried but no one could help her. The princess asked servants and her father the king, but they all agreed that the golden ball was gone. The well was just too deep. It seemed that the thing she could not have became the thing she wanted most.

The princess often went to the well and would gaze down wishing she could get her golden ball back. One day while gazing into the well, a frog spoke to her and said he could go down and get the ball for her if she promised to give him whatever he asked. The princess was not accustomed to promising anyone anything but she reluctantly promised.

The frog jumped into the well and retrieved her golden ball in his mouth. The princess was overjoyed until she heard that the frog wanted only one thing from her in payment. He wanted a kiss. She thought about disobeying the frog and forgetting her promise since she had her ball now but instead, she bent down and gave the frog a kiss. Instantly, he transformed into a handsome prince. He had been under an enchantment and only a kiss from a princess would release him.

The frog prince and the princess became good friends and eventually got married.

Do you like fairy tales.

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Click thumbnail to view full-size
Progress photo for the collagePhoto of the collage frog
Progress photo for the collage
Progress photo for the collage | Source
Photo of the collage frog
Photo of the collage frog | Source

Published with Lulu

This fairy tale has been shortened to fit into my book along with all the other letters of the alphabet. If you would like to read the full version, you can Google the title and find several versions of The Frog Prince.

My book, The FairyTale Alphabet Book, Fairy Tales and Folk Tales from Around the World, was self-published last year with Lulu.com because Amazon (Kindle Direct Publishing) refused to allow illustrations that spanned the central gutter of the page. They demanded at least a half-inch margin around the outside, which I could have done, and a half-inch margin through the center margin, which would destroy the look and cohesiveness of the double-page illustrations. I had to find a different publisher who would allow the illustrations the way I wanted them. KDP obviously does not understand illustrated children’s picture books.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Finished collage #1Finished Collage, change #2Finished Collage, Change #3Finished Collage, Change #4Finished Collage, Change #5Finished Collage, Change #6Finished Collage, Change #7Finished Collage, Change #8Finished Collage, Change #9Finished Collage, Change #10Finished Collage, Change #11Finished Collage, Change #12
Finished collage #1
Finished collage #1 | Source
Finished Collage, change #2
Finished Collage, change #2 | Source
Finished Collage, Change #3
Finished Collage, Change #3 | Source
Finished Collage, Change #4
Finished Collage, Change #4 | Source
Finished Collage, Change #5
Finished Collage, Change #5 | Source
Finished Collage, Change #6
Finished Collage, Change #6 | Source
Finished Collage, Change #7
Finished Collage, Change #7 | Source
Finished Collage, Change #8
Finished Collage, Change #8 | Source
Finished Collage, Change #9
Finished Collage, Change #9 | Source
Finished Collage, Change #10
Finished Collage, Change #10 | Source
Finished Collage, Change #11
Finished Collage, Change #11 | Source
Finished Collage, Change #12
Finished Collage, Change #12 | Source

Final Thoughts

I apologize for not having a production video to go with this collage. I didn't have the equipment when I was working on this collage and so there was no filming of the process yet. It would have been frustrating to watch if there had since I reworked the illustration 16 times before it was done.

I hope you like my story and my fairy tale alphabet book idea. Lately, I’ve been doing some research to begin another one. There were so many stories I had to pass over with the first book because there was just not enough room or letters in the alphabet. I’d love to read your thoughts and ideas in the comments below.

Comments

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    • PAINTDRIPS profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise McGill 

      18 months ago from Fresno CA

      Devika Primić,

      You are very kind. I'm happy I'm a favorite to visit. I love creating the art and always feel sad when I'm the only one who gets to see it. Thanks for commenting.

      Blessings,

      Denise

    • PAINTDRIPS profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise McGill 

      18 months ago from Fresno CA

      Liz Westwood,

      Yes, this is a popular story retold by many. I'm glad you like it. Thanks for commenting.

      Blessings,

      Denise

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      18 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Denise your art is amazing! Illustrations such as these fits to perfection on this hub topic. Your style in writing and in art is unique. This hub is one of my favorites.

    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      18 months ago from UK

      This is a very popular tale. You have done a very good job with your illustrations and retelling of the story.

    • PAINTDRIPS profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise McGill 

      18 months ago from Fresno CA

      Marie Flint,

      That sounds similar to the Scottish version of a fairy tale I found also. In that version, there were three princesses needing to get water from a magic well to heal the queen and only the youngest princess agreed to marry the frog before getting the drink for her mother. Interesting how many frog stories there are, isn't it? Thanks for commenting.

      Blessings,

      Denise

    • PAINTDRIPS profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise McGill 

      18 months ago from Fresno CA

      Linda Crampton,

      I'm happy you are enjoying them. I did too. Thanks for commenting.

      Blessings,

      Denise

    • Marie Flint profile image

      Marie Flint 

      18 months ago from Jacksonville, FL USA

      There are interesting versions of this story. I love the video (who doesn't like the Muppets?).

      In the original Grimm's tale I read, the princess does not keep her promise to the frog, and the poor thing has to hop all the way to the castle. He knocks on the door and is allowed inside when the king learns about the princess' promise. When she takes the frog to her room after supper, she throws him against the wall because he is so ugly to her. If I remember correctly, she has to kiss the frog as a "kiss and makeup" for treating the creature so poorly, an order from her father the king. (I could check on this to be sure--the old, dilapidated Grimm's book sits in the entryway closet along with a lot of other collectibles--and get back to you, but's three o'clock in the morning, and I'm going back to bed!)

      Keep up the great work! Love it!

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      18 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      You've shared some more lovely art. I know I've said it before, but you are creating a great series with your fairy tale articles. I enjoy reading them.

    • PAINTDRIPS profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise McGill 

      18 months ago from Fresno CA

      DreamerMeg,

      Where do people get the idea that frogs bite? Too funny. I love these stories too. Thanks for commenting.

      Blessings,

      Denise

    • PAINTDRIPS profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise McGill 

      18 months ago from Fresno CA

      William Kovacic,

      I try to keep it short and to the point so no one has time to get bored with me "showing off" my artwork. I'm glad you like it. Thanks for commenting.

      Blessings,

      Denise

    • PAINTDRIPS profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise McGill 

      18 months ago from Fresno CA

      Bill Holland,

      I would be so honored. I've only sold 2 copies so far. I gave away more than I sold. I'm sure you know how that goes. Too many grandkids I wanted to have my book. Thanks for being my fan.

      Blessings,

      Denise

    • PAINTDRIPS profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise McGill 

      18 months ago from Fresno CA

      Lorna Lamon,

      I still don't think the frog needed a crown and was tempted to remove it for my book publication (It is MY book after all) but when I thought about it I decided the crown was cute even if it wasn't necessary. You know I was having the hardest time with some of the Grimm fairy tales as they could be very grim and even gruesome.

      I'm tempted to clean them up and make them more suitable for children. When I got to the Water Mother (a Chinese FairyTale) I was tempted to make it have a happier ending but a Chinese friend told me that in their culture for the heroine to die made her nobler and worthy of honor... so I left it as the girl drowns. Thanks for commenting.

      Blessings,

      Denise

    • PAINTDRIPS profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise McGill 

      18 months ago from Fresno CA

      Bushra Iqbal,

      Thank you. Even with all the revisions, the art college made me do, I think it turned out nice. Thanks for commenting.

      Blessings,

      Denise

    • DreamerMeg profile image

      DreamerMeg 

      18 months ago from Northern Ireland

      I love fairy stories. The Frog Prince has many teaching points in it. I like frogs too though not everyone does. One person told me they didn't want to be bitten! (Frogs don't have teeth)

    • lifegate profile image

      William Kovacic 

      18 months ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      Informative, knowledgable, and entertaining along with some beautiful artwork. Thank you, Denise.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      18 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I absolutely love your drawings! I do believe I need to buy your book so your drawings will always be close at hand.

      Blessings always

      bill

    • Lorna Lamon profile image

      Lorna Lamon 

      18 months ago

      It must have been very tiring having to rework the illustration 16 times Denise. I lived in Germany as a child and my Aunt bought me a book of Fairytales and this was one of the stories, and a favourite. Another wonderful article with beautiful illustrations Denise.

    • Bushra Iqbal profile image

      Anya Ali 

      18 months ago from Rabwah, Pakistan

      Beautiful collage!

    • PAINTDRIPS profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise McGill 

      18 months ago from Fresno CA

      Umesh Chandra Bhatt,

      Yes, there will be 26 altogether; one for each letter of the alphabet. My favorite of these stories is Kiigbo Kiigba. A really funny story. Thanks for commenting.

      Blessings,

      Denise

    • bhattuc profile image

      Umesh Chandra Bhatt 

      18 months ago from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India

      Good one. You have a whole lot of them. Wonderful.

    • PAINTDRIPS profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise McGill 

      18 months ago from Fresno CA

      JC Scull,

      I'm so glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for commenting.

      Blessings,

      Denise

    • PAINTDRIPS profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise McGill 

      18 months ago from Fresno CA

      Eric Dierker,

      I will never be beyond these. I'm such a child at heart. I like it though so I don't care what anyone else says. Thanks for commenting.

      Blessings,

      Denise

    • JC Scull profile image

      JC Scull 

      18 months ago from Gainesville, Florida

      Hello Denise, your art and articles are always very enjoyable.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      18 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      I like this stuff. I always get a little bummed when my children think they are beyond these. Your art is amazing.

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