A girl gets into a mouthful of trouble in this “toadally” fractured fairy tale, from the author of the Mother-Daughter Book Club series.
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 faraway land—her dad’s house, halfway across the country—and share a room with her real-life evil stepsister, Olivia. Just when Cat can’t take it anymore, Great Aunt Abyssinia comes to the rescue. And things go from bad to cursed.
The next morning, Cat opens her mouth and a toad hops out! What’s more, when Olivia speaks, diamonds and flowers appear. How unfair is that? Before you can say "happily ever after," the girls are on the run from jewel thieves and a government agency. Can Cat save the day—and get rid of all those toads?
This is an enchanting fractured fairy tale from acclaimed Mother-Daughter Book Club author Heather Vogel Frederick.
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.