Happy June, Book Learners! The school year is over, which means it’s the perfect time to dive into the summer reading program at your local library!

Personally, I think the summer read that I’m most excited about this year is The Queen of the Frogs. It’s got all the things I like in a leisurely summer book: an idyllic country setting, a love story, frogs in charmingly old-fashioned bathing costumes, and some important topics to ruminate over (critical thinking shouldn’t be confined to the classroom, after all).

The Queen of the Frogs reads like a modern fable, telling the story of a group of frogs who have the most peaceful lifestyle ever: they spend their days eating fly brunches, napping on lily pads, and singing in presumably froggy baritones.

But then a tiny crown falls into their pond, and the frog who dives down and recovers the crown is immediately pronounced a queen (after all, only monarchs wear crowns). So she gets herself some royal advisors to help her figure out what exactly a queen does. It turns out queens mostly just lounge around and order other frogs to catch their flies for them. So that’s what the new queen starts to do.

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Don’t these frogs just make you want to drink iced tea and listen to jazz?

As you might imagine, the frogs don’t take it well.

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Here are the frogs cheerfully throwing mud balls at the queen after her crown falls off.

It’s a funny, enjoyable book, but my favorite part is the fact that it unapologetically dives into (pun intended) the concepts of leadership and authority. So here are some discussion questions to keep in mind as you read The Queen of the Frogs.

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The Queen of the Frogs

1. What qualities do you think a good leader should possess? What qualities might a bad leader possess?

2. In the book, the queen and her advisors suddenly get authority over the other frogs that they arguably don’t deserve. Have you ever been praised or recognized for something you didn’t think you deserved credit for? How did that make you feel? What (if anything) did you do about it?

3. When they first see her wearing the crown, the other frogs cheer, “Long live the queen!” But halfway through the story, they begin to question her leadership. Why do you think this change occurs? Do you think the frogs should have done something differently?

4. The story that unfolds in The Queen of the Frogs wouldn’t have happened if it wasn’t for the couple on the bridge. Are there other examples in the book of a character’s actions having unintended consequences?

5. The frogs in the pond believed they were being treated unfairly, but they didn’t take any active steps to try and change things. What are some actions we can take if we disagree with a certain leader or policy?