George Vîrtosu

A Little Frog’s Heart. Volume 1. The Golden Quill, Angel Or Executioner

“I don’t think I was expecting to read a children’s book with so much concentration, and I also have to admit, with such great pleasure. However, I don’t think this means that I’m entering my second childhood. Leaving aside the fact that the book is well written — putting it purely and simply, I was gripped by the ingenuity of the characters, and by the exciting nature of their experiences.

I am glad this first volume is not actually the last, and that we are talking about an entire cycle which is far from its end. You are now about to read the first volume in the cycle of ‘A Frog’s Heart’, while I have already read the second one and I’m preparing for the reading of the third. So I have a serious motive for wanting to encounter the same freshness as I read the rest of it.

I do not know what exactly drove the author towards children’s literature, but two things seem clear to me. Firstly, that he has all the gifts of imagination and expression necessary for this genre, so he has an indisputable leaning towards it. Secondly, that he fell upon a genre which has been a stepchild, in our literature, for a good few decades.

In recent years, the genre has had a presence for its readers, mainly through translations and re-editing, with original works being immensely rare, if not almost absent. I am glad that, among the few who sought to fill this gap, there is an author so visibly gifted. He is an author who, besides the gifts of imagination and expression already mentioned, has another gift which I consider to be essential — he knows how to introduce that moral dimension without which literature for children cannot be conceived, but he never falls into merely preaching. The moral thesis emerges from the happenings, dialogues and meditations of the characters. This seems to me, as I’ve already mentioned, essential. Nothing drives a child — or even a grown-up — further away from the ethical dimension than a moralising lecture.

As far as I know, these stories will be presented to the public in several formulae — as richly illustrated volumes, as comic strips, and — if I understood it correctly — as animated cartoons. This is excellent — since our way of perception differs both according to our ages and according to our personalities; and it is very good to be reached through the means best suited to us.

I would not like to conclude before wishing the readers a pleasant read, irrespective of their age and the form of the story for which they’ve opted — book, comic strips, etc. I would also like to wish great energy to the author, so that he can make us glad with as many adventures as possible of his ingenious and charming characters. Had anyone told me, before reading this book, that fleas, rats and even silkworms would seem cute creatures to me, I would have said he didn’t know what he was talking about!

Once again, have a pleasant read!“ — Liviu Antonesei
272 printed pages
Original publication



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