The Horned Toad Prince

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.

Age 4-8


“Even better than the story are Michael Austin’s illustrations. The toad is a savvy, sly dude, and Reba Jo is as sassy a redhead as ever strummed a guitar. The drawing of the toad, belly bulging after eating a bowl of chili, will chase any gloom away.”
— Houston Chronicle

“The unusual perspectives and broad humor of Austin’s 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.”
— Publishers Weekly

“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.”
— School Library Journal

“Richly hued illustrations add to the book’s raucous flavor. Using dusty mustard yellows and a splattering of rust, the scenes look dry and windswept.”
— ForeWord Magazine