Cover image for The horned toad prince
The horned toad prince
Hopkins, Jackie.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
Atlanta, Ga. : Peachtree, 2000.
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 24 x 26 cm
In this retelling of "The Frog Prince, " a spunky cowgirl loses her new sombrero and is helped by a horned toad on the understanding that she will do three small favors for him.
Reading Level:
670 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 4.5 0.5 41528.

Reading Counts RC K-2 3.4 2 Quiz: 28670 Guided reading level: L.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PIC BK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
PIC BK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
PIC BK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books

On Order



This spirited, contemporary retelling of the classic fairy tale features a hilarious Southwestern spin.

Reba Jo loves riding all over the wild prairie and roping any critter unlucky enough to cross her path. But when the spunky cowgirl finds herself in a mess of trouble, she's forced to strike a deal with a horned toad-he'll save her hide, but only if she grants him three wishes. Reba Jo tries her darnedest to weasel out of her part of the bargain, but the clever horned toad won't let her off the hook. In the end, she learns an important lesson that a promise is a promise and that words once spoken are not easily taken back.

Author Jackie Mims Hopkins's sizzling Southwestern retelling of the classic fairy tale "The Frog Prince" is enhanced by the Spanish vocabulary sprinkled throughout the text, and is complemented by Michael Austin's vibrant, distinctive illustrations, which colorfully transport young readers to the untamed, dusty prairie.

Author Notes

JACKIE MIMS HOPKINS is a storyteller, a school librarian and a former teacher. She is the author of The Gold Miner's Daughter: A Melodramatic Fairy Tale, The Three Armadillies Tuff, and The Horned Toad Prince, among other books. She lives near Houston, Texas.

MICHAEL AUSTIN, a graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi, is a creative director in Atlanta. He has illustrated Railroad John and the Red Rock Run, Late for School, 13 Monsters Who Should Be Avoided, and The Horned Toad Prince. Austin lives with his wife in Georgia.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Ages 4^-7. The story of the frog prince gets a sassy update and a brand new southwestern setting. Reba Jo is a rider and a roper, but she's not supposed to go down to the creek. So when she loses her hat in the creek, she knows she's in a heap of trouble. An ugly horned toad offers to help her, and she agrees, even though there are some odious conditions, including spoonfeeding him chili, letting him sleep in her hat, and warbling him a song. Reba Jo gets the hat and breaks the deal, but when the toad follows her home, she has to comply and provide a kiss to boot. The rest of the story will be familiar--with one twist: this handsome prince wants no part of the snotty cowgirl. This is fun through and through. Hopkins' telling sizzles with southwestern panache, complete with Spanish words interspersed in the text. Austin, a graphic artist, provides pictures that have the smoothness and gloss of computer-generated art, and uses an exaggerated style that will make kids grimace and giggle at the same time. Fractured fun at its best. --Ilene Cooper

Publisher's Weekly Review

Hopkins (Tumbleweed Tom on the Texas Trail) spices up the Brothers Grimm's "The Frog Prince" by setting it in the American Southwest and casting its heroine as a spunky cowgirl. Here, horse-riding, lasso-wielding Reba Jo loses not a ball, but her brand-new hat, down the bottom of a dusty well, from whence a homely horned toad retrieves it. His price--Reba Jo must feed him some chili, play him a song on her guitarra and let him take a siesta in her sombrero. The unusual perspectives and broad humor of Austin's (Thirteen Monsters Who Should Be Avoided) over-the-top airbrush illustrations in shades of violet and gold capture Reba Jo's comical disgust as she tries to wiggle out of her unpalatable bargain as well as the ugly toad's insouciant charm as he connives his way free from his curse. Is marriage in store for our plucky heroine and the handsome caballero she frees with her kiss? The deliciously surprising double-twist ending leaves readers free to decide for themselves. Ages 4-8. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 3-An entertaining version of "The Frog Prince" with a Texas twist. Reba Jo spends her days alone, playing her guitar or riding the lonesome prairie roping everything in sight. One day, her new cowgirl hat blows off and lands at the bottom of a dried-up well. A pudgy horned toad, seeing Reba Jo's predicament, offers to bring her the hat in exchange for "tres peque-os favors": some chili, a song, and a nap in her hat. The text is interspersed with 25 Spanish words and short phrases easily identified in italics and smoothly defined within the text. A word list with a pronunciation guide is appended. Airbrushed, luminous artwork is reminiscent of the work of Berkeley Breathed in its exaggeration and energy; the perspective, with various slants and angles, makes each illustration a treat. The characters, bursting from their confinement within the frames, will evoke smiles. For example, after eating chili, the sated toad rests on a red chili pepper, one leg draped over the side of the bowl, while splatters of tomato sauce and kidney beans stain the pages. The humorous tale ends as the toad-now-turned-prince thanks Reba Jo for the kiss that freed him from the spell he was under and prepares to leave. The last page reveals the girl wordlessly twirling her lasso to capture the unwary prince, while the red sun sets in the west.-Maryann H. Owen, Racine Public Library, WI (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.