A small frog boldly proclaims its reluctance to become big; an adult frog and a pig help it reconsider its views.
As in Petty and Boldt’s earlier collaboration, I Don’t Want to Be a Frog (2015), the expressions on the frogs’ faces are perfect: belligerence from the little frog and weary cynicism from the adult, who is probably the younger frog’s parent. The art also lends excellent credibility to the little frog’s concerns about being unable to fit in the book and terrible at hide-and-seek; only partial views are given of the comical elephant referenced by the child-frog. The text in which the frogs discuss the pros and cons of being big—shown in dialogue bubbles—seems a bit flat, however, probably because most young children want to be bigger. Young children also generally want independence, so the little frog’s assertion that “I have big friends” to reach some cupcakes when it can’t again seems lame. There is plenty of humor, much of it stemming from the art, as when the little frog decides it might not want to meet the tree frogs and the double-page spread suddenly fills, startlingly, with a close-up view of red-eyed tree frogs staring out at readers. The endpapers are also funny, showing an elephant’s trunk using a pencil to mark the little frog’s growing height. The little frog’s final proclamation may lead to a sequel with a complaint more expected from young ones.
The premise is weak, but the silly pictures make this an enjoyable read-aloud nevertheless. (Picture book. 3-6)