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562 Talk About It Make up a story about the play these kids are performing. What is it called? What happens? Find out more about plays at www.macmil...

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Talk About It Make up a story about the play these kids are performing. What is it called? What happens? Find out more about plays at


Vocabulary selfish








Antonyms are words that have opposite meanings. Cranky and cheerful are antonyms.


by Marcia Stevens Narrator: There once was a beautiful princess whose favorite amusement was a golden ball. One day the princess tossed the ball too high, and it landed in the well. As the princess cried over her lost treasure, she heard someone ask a question. Frog: Why are you so miserable, beautiful princess? Narrator: The princess looked around and saw only a frog. Princess: My favorite golden ball fell into the well. Frog: I can retrieve it for you, but first, you must agree to one condition. You must promise to take me home and be my friend. Narrator: The princess had no intention of being friends with a frog, but she promised anyway. When the frog brought her the ball, the princess snatched it from him and scampered home. Frog: What a selfish princess. I’m certain that she has forgotten her promise. I’ll just hop over to the castle to remind her. Narrator: The frog hop-hop-hopped through the meadow and knocked on the heavy door of the castle. Princess: What are you doing here, you bumbling frog?

Vocabulary and Comprehension

Frog: My, aren’t we cranky? And as for bumbling, I wasn’t the one who dropped the ball in the well. I am here to remind you of the promise you made. Narrator: The princess slammed the door in the frog’s face with a big BANG. King: I heard a door slam. What’s all the commotion? If you made a promise you must honor it. Narrator: The princess was exasperated but obeyed her father. So, the king, the princess, and the frog enjoyed dinner together. It was mutton stew, the cook’s specialty. Frog: I was famished, but now I’m full. Thank you for dinner. Kindly show me to my bed now.

Reread for

Narrator: The princess did as she was asked, but the frog looked sad. Frog: You have welcomed me into your home, but I can tell that you don’t want to be my friend. Narrator: The princess blushed, for what the frog said was true. She bent down to kiss the frog, but ended up kissing a prince. Frog: I am a prince who was turned into a frog, and your kiss turned me back. Thank you, dear friend! Narrator: The prince and princess were wonderful friends from that day on and lived happily ever after.



Make Judgments Readers learn about the characters in a story by evaluating what they say and do. These actions, plus what you know from your own experiences, can help you make judgments about characters.



A Make Judgments Flow Chart can help you understand the characters you read about. Reread the selection for the actions of the characters and add them to the chart. Then use their actions, along with your own experiences, to make judgments about the characters. 565

Comprehension Genre A Play is a story told entirely through dialogue and intended to be performed.

Evaluate Make Judgments As you read, use your Make Judgments Flow Chart.



Read to Find Out Who is the evil character, and what will the happy ending be?


Main Selection

The Frog Princess by Carmen Agra Deedy illustrated by Renato Alarcão


SETTING Long ago in Mexico. The Viceroy’s hunting lodge in Chapultapec forest.

PLAYERS FELIPE, the Viceroy’s rotten son PEPE, Felipe’s mistreated servant RANITA, a little frog with a mysterious past VIEJA SABIA, a wise but cranky old woman VICEROY, the representative of the Spanish throne VICEROY’S WIFE COOK MAN ONE MAN TWO SERVANT ONE SERVANT TWO MAN THREE EXTRAS: Members of hunting party, servants attending dinner, noblemen and ladies


In a forest clearing, men are frantically searching the ground. From a nearby stone well, Ranita watches but remains unnoticed. Man One: (Frustrated) Keep looking! If we don’t find that golden arrow— Man Two: —we’ll be on tortillas and water for the next month! (Men, grumbling, all agree.) (Enter Felipe.) Felipe: (Loud and demanding) Well? Have you found my golden arrow yet? Man Three: Not yet, Señor! Felipe: (Sweetly, hand over heart) It was a gift from my dear mother. (Turning suddenly and hissing) Find it or I will feed you to the jaguars—starting with my bumbling servant, Pepe. It’s his fault I missed my mark. Now, out of my sight, all of you! (Men exit hurriedly.) 569


Felipe: (Stomping foot and whining) I want my golden arrow back! Ranita: (Sitting on top of well, holding the golden arrow) You mean, this golden arrow? Felipe: (Joyously) My golden arrow! You found it! You—(Stops cold)—you’re a frog. Ranita: You were expecting a Mayan princess, perhaps? Felipe: (Rolls eyes) Well, I wasn’t expecting a talking frog! Ranita: (Sighs) I’m under a spell. I don’t like to talk about it. Felipe: (Pauses to think) Not my problem. Hand over the arrow. Ranita: (Plink! Drops it back down the well) Hmm, looks like it’s your problem now. Felipe: N-n-noooo! (Threateningly) What have you done, you foolish frog? Ranita: If I am so foolish, how come I am the one with the arrow while you are the one standing there talking to a rana, a frog? Felipe: I would squish you right now—(Sniffs)—but you are only a frog. Ranita: (Warningly) You want that golden arrow? Felipe: (Suspicious) In exchange for what? Ranita: A promise. Felipe: (Relieved) Oh, is that all? Ranita: A promise is a very serious thing. Felipe: (Coughing) Yes, yes, of course—go on.

Make Judgments What judgment can you make about Felipe’s character? Does he take promises seriously? 571

Ranita: IF I rescue your golden arrow, you must promise to let me eat from your plato, sleep in your cama, and give me a beso when the sun comes up. Felipe: (Just stares) Eat from my plate? Sleep in my bed? KISS you? That is disgusting! Ranita: No promise, no golden arrow. Felipe: (Crossing his fingers behind his back) I promise. (Ranita fetches the arrow. Felipe bows and runs off.) Ranita: Espera! Wait! I can’t hop that fast! (Hangs her head and begins to cry) He’s gone. Now I’ll never break this evil spell. 572

(Enter wise woman, leaning on two canes.) Vieja Sabia: It doesn’t feel very good, does it? Ranita: (Blows nose) Please, no lectures today, old woman. Vieja Sabia: My name is Vieja Sabia. Ranita: Sorry, Wise Old Woman. (Sadly) You’ve already turned me into a frog. Isn’t that enough? Vieja Sabia: You wouldn’t be a frog if you hadn’t refused to give me a drink from this well, so long ago. Ranita: I was a selfish child then. I have paid for that, haven’t I? I have learned what it is like to be alone and forgotten. Vieja Sabia: Perhaps you have . . . Ranita: (Brightening) Then, you will turn me into a girl again? Vieja Sabia: No. But I will take you as far as the Viceroy’s hunting lodge. You must make the leap from there. (Exit Vieja Sabia and Ranita.)


Hunting lodge with Viceroy, his wife, noblemen and women, all seated at long banquet table. Servants scurry in and out with bowls of food. Servant One: (Placing bowl of soup before Viceroy) Sopa, Señor? Viceroy: (Exasperated) Sí, sí. Where is Felipe? Viceroy’s Wife: (Wistfully) Dear boy. He is probably feeding the birds. Servant Two: (Aside) To the cat. Servant One: (Muffles laugh) (Enter Felipe.) Felipe: I am famished. What a day I’ve had today. First, I lost my golden arrow— (Shouting from the kitchen can be heard.) 574

Felipe: (Louder)—then I met this ridiculous, demanding— (Enter Ranita, running from the kitchen chased by cook and servants.) Felipe: (Slack-jawed)—frog. Cook: You hop back here! (To servant) Stop her, right now! Servant One: (Tries to catch frog) Aaaaayyyy! She’s a slippery one! Servant Two: Oooooeeeeee! She bit me! Cook: Get her, Pepe. (Pepe catches Ranita under the table, smiles, and lets her go. A commotion follows as the cook and servants chase Ranita.)

Make Judgments Why do you think Pepe let Ranita go? 575


Viceroy: Basta! Enough! Who is this creature? Felipe: (Sneering) She’s the nasty little frog who rescued my golden arrow. Ranita: And in return he promised to let me eat from his plato, sleep in his cama, and give me a beso when the sun came up. Viceroy: Did you make this promise? Felipe: (Sullen) I don’t remember. Viceroy’s Wife: (Indignant) Even if he did—he is the Viceroy’s son! Viceroy: (Grave) Sí. And THE VICEROY’S SON KEEPS HIS PROMISES. Pepe! Set a place for our guest. Felipe: But, Father— Viceroy’s Wife: Ernesto! Viceroy: (Slams fist on table.) Silencio! Silence! (Ranita hops on table. Felipe is too stunned to speak. Viceroy’s Wife is glaring.) Viceroy: Everyone—and I mean everyone—EAT! (Pepe puts bowl down in front of Felipe.) Felipe: (Gives a yelp) Pepe! Pepe: (Innocently) Sí? Felipe: (Disgusted) There is a fly in my soup! Pepe: It’s for the frog. Viceroy: Excellent. Eat up, Felipe. Viceroy’s Wife: (Revolted) Arggh.


(Felipe’s bedroom) Felipe: (On bed) I refuse to sleep next to a FROG. Pepe!!!!!!!! Pepe: (Enters immediately) Sí, Señor? Felipe: (Snappish) What took you so long? Hurry—tell my father I can’t do this. (Desperate) Tell him I’ll get warts. (Enter Viceroy.) Viceroy: (Annoyed) With any luck, you will get one on your oath-breaking tongue, boy. Felipe: (Whining) Father— Viceroy: You made a promise, Felipe. (To Pepe) Help him keep his word, eh, Pepe? (Exit Viceroy.)


Felipe: (Throws pillow at Pepe. Falls on bed and begins to wail.) AAAAAAAYYYYYYYY! Pepe: (Blows out candle and sits in chair.) Hasta mañana . . . until tomorrow. Sweet dreams, Felipe. Felipe: (Growls) I will dream of roasted frog legs. Ranita: I’m telling. Felipe: Bug breath! Ranita: Big baby! Pepe: (Sighs) It’s going to be a long night.

(Next morning) Ranita: (Cheerful) Despierta, wake up! It’s “beso time!” [Felipe rubs eyes, sees Ranita, and shrieks.] Felipe: (Whimpers, clutching his blanket) It wasn’t a bad dream, after all. Forget it, frog! I am not kissing you! Ranita: (Stubbornly) You promised. Felipe: Well, (Smiles slowly) I’ve just had a better idea. (Kicks chair to wake his servant) Pepe! Pepe: (Groggy) Señor! Felipe: You are sworn to obey me in all things, sí? Pepe: (Confused) Sí, Señor. 579

Felipe: (Smug) KISS . . . THE . . . FROG. [Pepe shrugs and kisses Ranita’s cheek.] (No longer a frog, Ranita is now a beautiful Mayan Princess.) Felipe: (Dazzled) I—but who? (Bowing) Allow me to introduce myself, I am— Ranita: —the Spanish Viceroy’s Rotten Son. And I am . . . the Mayan Emperor’s Lucky Daughter. (Felipe and Pepe fall on their knees.) Ranita: I have been enchanted for 200 years. Felipe: (Looks up) You’ve been a frog for 200 years? What’s so LUCKY about that? Ranita: I’ll tell you. As a princess, I could have ended up the wife of a spoiled brat like you. Instead, I found myself a prince . . . (Takes Pepe’s hand) a prince of a husband, that is. (Pepe kisses the Princess’s hand, while Felipe has a screaming tantrum.) 580



The same clearing in the forest as in Scene 1 Felipe: (Kicks a stone) If they think I’m going to their ridiculous wedding . . . ha! May they have a dozen ugly tadpole children! (Enter Vieja Sabia.) Vieja Sabia: Agua! Water from the well, my son, before I die of thirst. Felipe: (Snarling) I’m no water boy. I’m the Viceroy’s son! Get your own water, you old cucaracha! Vieja Sabia: (With gentle concern) Cockroach? It’s very rude to speak to your elders that way. Has no one taught you manners? Felipe: (Puzzled) No. Vieja Sabia: (Smiling wickedly) Well (pointing finger at Felipe), that is my specialty. (**POOF** Felipe the Frog hops onto the top of the well.) Vieja Sabia: (to audience) And now you know how the Frog Prince ended up in that well.


On c e U pon a Ti me . . . Carmen Agra Deedy came to the United

States from Cuba in 1960, after a revolution made it dangerous for her family to live there. Hoping for a more peaceful life, Carmen and her family settled in Georgia. Carmen has not forgotten her Cuban heritage. She combines it with the heritage of the southern United States when writing her stories. Other books by Carmen Agra Deedy

Renato Alarcão was born, raised, and

currently lives in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Among his many art projects was the creation of 13 murals around Paterson and Passaic, New Jersey, all done with a team of artists and local teens.

Write About It Felipe breaks his promise to Ranita, and she pledges to marry Pepe instead. Explain whether or not you think it’s important to keep promises.

Find out more about Carmen Agra Deedy at


Comprehension Check Summarize Summarize Ranita, the Frog Princess. Tell what Ranita’s problem was and how it was solved.

Think and Compare 1. What kind of person is the Viceroy? Look for clues about his character and put them in your Make Judgments Flow Chart. Use the clues to make a 8cRU[S\b /QbW]\ judgment about the Viceroy’s character. Evaluate: Make Judgments 2. Reread Scene 2 of Ranita, the Frog Princess on pages 574–575. How does the Viceroy’s wife feel about Felipe? How do the servants feel? Analyze 3. How would you respond to the deal that Ranita offered Felipe? Apply 4. Did Felipe deserve the punishment he received for being selfish? Give reasons for your answer. Evaluate 5. Read “The Frog Prince” on pages 564–565. How is this story like Ranita, the Frog Princess? How are the stories different? Use details from both selections in your answer. Reading/Writing Across Texts


Performing Arts Genre Nonfiction Articles provide information about topics.

Text Feature Interviews are accounts of questions asked by one person and answered by another.

Content Vocabulary director roles audition


casting rehearse

by Liz Ray Have you and your friends ever put on a play? A group of children in Massachusetts did more than that. First, they found a director. Then they began performing classic and new plays. The group called itself the Puddlejump Players. Children have been performing with the Puddlejump Players for more than ten years. The actors are 3 to 17 years of age. The director and many other staff members are adults. Perry Kroll, one of the oldest child actors in the group, answered some questions about the Puddlejump Players.

Performing Arts

Q: Do children have to try out for roles in the Puddlejump Players? A: The children do audition for the roles that interest them. They often give the director a list of parts they’d like, and then try out for one or two of them. During the auditions, stand-ins are sometimes required. These are actors who read the lines for the other characters in the scenes that have been selected. It’s not uncommon for a stand-in to do so well that they end up with that part! Q: Who makes the casting decisions? A: A few older members can have a little influence, but it is really the director’s decision. I am always surprised by the way she can predict someone’s skill at a role they didn’t audition for.

Reading an Interview An interview is made up of questions and answers. The letter Q stands for the question, and the letter A stands for the answer. Each Q paragraph may have a question mark at the end, but it also may not. Q: How many plays are performed a year? A: One play per year, in the spring.


Q: How long does the company rehearse before performing a play? A: Rehearsals usually start in January. The auditions begin in November or December. The show is in May. Q: Do children do any behind-thescenes work, such as making sets? A: Absolutely! There is a core group who helps Sheila [the director]. Sheila usually designs the sets herself—though during the last show a few members of the cast painted some pieces. Then she stays up nearly around the clock putting them up with help from the older members. Q: Who makes the costumes and props? A: In general, cast members find or create their own costumes, make-up, and props. Sheila makes some of the more complicated ones herself.


Q: Do children play music for the performances? A: The music is usually played live by a few parents with musical experience. In the past a few excellent musicians from the cast have helped as well. When the curtain rises and the actors step on stage, all the hard work pays off. Once again, the children get to put on a play and an audience experiences a wonderful performance.

Connect and Compare 1. In this interview, how can you tell when a question is being asked? How do you know when you are reading an answer? Reading an Interview 2. Do you think that adults should help in a children’s theater company like the Puddlejump Players? Explain your answer. Evaluate 3. If the Puddlejump Players were putting on Ranita, the Frog Princess, what might the actor playing Ranita use for a costume and make-up? What about the actor playing Vieja Sabia? Reading/Writing Across Texts

Performing Arts Activity Research a play that a children’s theater group could put on. Act out a scene from the play with some friends. Find out more about the performing arts at


Writing Word Choice When a writer uses precise adjectives, readers get a better picture of the person, place, or thing that is being described.

Write a Descriptive Poster School Spring Funfest! by Jenny G.

Sc ho ol Sp ri ng Fu nf es t! I wanted to describe the spring festival at school on a poster.

I used colorful adjectives.


Enjoy yourself at the Annual All-School Spring Funfest on April 10 from 12-6 p.m. The Spring Funfest is a festival for everyone. Kids can have their faces painted like birds or lions or bears. You can eat spicy tamales, crunchy eggrolls, and hot dogs that are a foot long. Grades 3 and 4 will put on a play called The Frog Princess in the gym, and all the teachers will dress up in old-fashioned costumes. For sports fans, there will be an exciting soccer game outside between parents and 6th graders. Everyone has a great time. Mark your calendars!

Descriptive Writing

Your Turn Make a poster that announces a school event. It may be a real event at your school or an imaginary one. Begin with a catchy title. Explain what the event is and then describe it in a paragraph. Use precise adjectives that will get your readers’ attention and make them want to attend. Include details about the date, time, and place of the event. Use the Writer’s Checklist to check your writing.

Writer¢s Checklist Ideas and Content: Did I clearly state the purpose of the event? Did I explain what will happen? Organization: Did I start with a catchy title? Did I include the date, time, and place of the event? Voice: Will my readers feel my enthusiasm? Word Choice: Did I use precise adjectives? Sentence Fluency: Did my writing flow smoothly when I read it aloud? Conventions: Did I use the articles a and an correctly? Did I check my spelling?