Synopses & Reviews
A girl gets into a mouthful of trouble in this modern fractured fairy tale, from the author of The Mother-Daughter Book Club.
Cat Starr’s life is no fairy tale. When her astronaut mother goes on a NASA mission, Cat is shipped off to live with her father, her bratty stepsister, Olivia, and her horrid little stepbrother, Geoffrey (aka Barf Bucket). At the height of her frustration, Cat places a very
long-distance call to her mother in space. Next thing she knows, toads appear when she talks—and when Olivia speaks, flowers and gems come out of her mouth. Cat is more than happy to keep her condition quiet, but Olivia makes the mistake of showing off, and before you can say “once upon a time,” jewel thieves have kidnapped Geoffrey in hopes of exchanging him for the jewel-spouting Olivia! Cat really wants to rescue Geoffrey and protect Olivia—not to mention get rid of all the toads—but she’s encountered a slight problem: A government agency has taken her to a secret lab in Area 51 so that they can perform experiments on her. Is there any way this story can have a happily-ever-after?
Loosely based on “Cinderella” author Charles Perrault’s “Toads and Diamonds,” Once Upon a Toad is charming, funny, and sure to resonate with readers.
"In this humorous, quick-moving story, Frederick (the Mother-Daughter Book Club series) delivers a contemporary update of Perrault's classic fairy tale Toads and Diamonds. In contrast to the original, this version has kind and self-reliant 12-year-old Cat Starr stuck spewing toads from her mouth while her unpleasant stepsister, Olivia, emits showers of flowers and precious gems every time she talks. After Cat's astronaut mother gets sent to the International Space Station, Cat goes to live with her remarried father and his family, which ignites sisterly rivalry. When the girls start spitting toads and diamonds, Cat discovers that it's the work of her eccentric Great-Aunt Abyssinia, who is actually an 'occupationally challenged fairy godmother.' The girls' talents attract media attention, through which Frederick offers gentle commentary on the dark side of celebrity, leading to the kidnapping of Cat's half-brother. The slapstick nature of the story translates well to modern-day middle school; kidnapping aside, Frederick plays up the physical comedy and focuses on the fun, as well as the gradually defrosting relationship between Cat and Olivia. Ages 8 12. Agent: Barry Goldblatt, Barry Goldblatt Literary. (Apr.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
The Mother-Daughter Book Club's Heather Vogel Frederick's tale of a girl who spits toads and spiders when she speaks--but is her curse really a gift?
Cat Starr's life is no fairy tale. When her mother goes on a NASA mission, Cat is shipped off to live with her father and bratty stepsister, Olivia, and younger brother, Geoffrey, aka Barf Bucket.
When Cat finally can't take it anymore, she places a very long distance call to her mother in space. Next thing she knows, her Great Aunt Abyssinia (who also happens to be her rather inept fairy godmother) comes to town. So when toads start appearing every time Cat talks and Olivia gets flowers and gems when she opens her mouth, Cat is more than happy to keep quiet. But Olivia makes the mistake of showing off and before you can say "once upon a time," Geoffrey is kidnapped by jewel thieves hoping to to exchange him for the jewel-spouting Olivia--while Cat is taken by a government agency to a secret lab in Area 51 so that they can perform experiments on her.
Cat has got to find a way to rescue Geoffrey, protect Olivia, and get rid of all these toads! But is this one story that just won't end happily ever after?
andlt;Bandgt;A girl gets into a mouthful of trouble in this modern fractured fairy tale, from the author of andlt;iandgt;The Mother-Daughter Book Clubandlt;/iandgt;. andlt;/Bandgt;andlt;BRandgt;andlt;BRandgt;Once upon a time, Cat Starr lived with her astronaut mom in Houston. But when her mother gets sent on a long-term mission, Cat has to move to a far away landand#8212;her dadand#8217;s house, halfway across the countryand#8212;and share a room with her real-life evil stepsister, Olivia. Just when Cat canand#8217;t take it anymore, Great-Aunt Abyssinia comes to the rescue. And things go from bad to worse.andlt;BRandgt;andlt;BRandgt;The next morning, Cat opens her mouth and a toad hops out! Whatand#8217;s more, when Olivia speaks, diamonds and flowers appear. How unfair is andlt;iandgt;thatandlt;/iandgt;? Before you can say "happily ever after," the girls are on the run from jewel thieves and a government agency. Can Cat save the dayand#8212;and get rid of all those toads?andlt;BRandgt;andlt;BRandgt;This is an enchanting fractured fairy tale from acclaimed andlt;iandgt;Mother-Daughter Book Clubandlt;/iandgt; author Heather Vogel Frederick.
About the Author
Heather Vogel Frederick is the author of the popular Mother-Daughter Book Club series, as well as the highly acclaimed andlt;iandgt;The Voyage of Patience Goodspeedandlt;/iandgt;, andlt;iandgt;The Education of Patience Goodspeedandlt;/iandgt;, and the Spy Mice series. She resides with her family in Portland, Oregon. Visit her at HeatherVogelFrederick.com.