Title: FREDERICK FLY-CATCHER
Author: Helen C. Johannes
Genre: Middle-Grade Children’s Fantasy
Frederick the frog isn’t looking for adventure. His life in the family pond—hanging out and catching flies—is perfect. Or it would be if a bully wasn’t harassing the youngest frogs. To defend them, Frederick accepts a fly-catching challenge, but what he catches isn’t an insect. It’s a magic ring, and Frederick has swallowed it! Whenever he burps or coughs, something terrifying happens to the pond.
“Frogs shouldn’t have anything to do with human things,” says wise Uncle Ben, so to protect his family, Frederick must leave the only world he knows.
The world beyond the pond is frightening, but rather than hide or mope, Frederick sets out to get rid of this dangerous human thing. His only hope is to find the small human who tossed the ring into the pond, the boy chased by big men and bigger horses. The boy is in trouble, too, but how can Frederick, one little frog, save a human, much less the pond from an evil sorcerer?
Air bubbles roared past Frederick. Horse legs crashed through the water all around him. Heart hammering, he dove for the mucky bottom.
Kersplash! Something big plunged past him.
Frederick tucked his long legs, rolled, and kicked away. One cattail stem smacked him in the face, another in the knee. He pulled himself across the third and braced his legs against it while it swayed.
He opened his eyes at the roiling surface, head out and body in. His nose smarted. Whatever had thundered through the pond was gone. Already the algae was closing ranks, filling the holes punched into it.
Frederick heaved a sigh and crawled onto a floating twig. He looked around for his friends—and froze.
From the reeds opposite, a pair of eyes stared out.
BIG blue eyes.
Frederick pretended he was part of the twig.
The eyes blinked. They widened to June bug size.
Huh? What does something big enough to stir up a pond have to fear?
The eyes looked beyond him, over the cattails. It was thundering again. Louder. More horses. The blue eyes opposite sank into the reeds.
Frederick clung to his reed. Queen Mama always said—there was a time for diving and a time for sticking. The time for sticking was now.
“The boy crossed here!”
“And went out here!”
“Follow him, you idiots!”
Three horses plunged into the water and galloped through the pond.
Frederick hung on while his twig bounced back and forth with the sloshing waves.
When the water stilled, Frederick looked straight at the reeds.
The blue eyes had surfaced. Now they rose. And rose. Over the top of the reeds appeared a thin, green-streaked face.
A human! A small human!
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What better way to entertain the youngsters than with a cute, green frog who never expected to be a hero? Join Frederick on a wild adventure celebrating family and friendship and the power of small folk when they band together.
Giveaway – Enter to win an e-book bundle of all 51 books featured in the Beach Reads Bookish Event: https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/92db775068/ Open Internationally. Runs July 17 – 22, 2020. Winner will be drawn on July 30, 2020.
Helen C. Johannes writes award-winning fantasy romance inspired by the fairy tales she grew up reading and the amazing historical places she’s visited in England, Ireland, Scotland and Germany. She writes tales of adventure and romance in fully realized worlds sprung from pure imagination and a lifelong interest in history, culture, and literature. Warriors on horseback, women who refuse to sit idly at home, and passion that cannot be denied or outrun—that’s what readers will find in her books.
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