Frog and his friends are back (Frog and Friends, 2011) in another trio of early-reader tales, but this time they focus less on humor and problem solving and more on life lessons and manners.
In the first story, Frog and Bat play a game, pointing out the ways in which they are different, though “not unkindly.” There are compliments aplenty as the two discover that they have just as many similarities as differences. In the second story, Frog sets off for a vacation for some time alone to think. The trouble is, his friends all want to come along. Not wanting to be rude, Frog allows it, and it turns out to be the best vacation ever. In the final tale, Frog meets Starman, who gives away the stars in the sky (and teaches a few star facts in the process). Frog gathers all his friends, and they each pick out a star to be their very own, even though they have to stay in the sky. The hearty friendships are plenty evident, both in the text and in the expressive faces of Masse’s characters, but with the book’s emphasis on not hurting others’ feelings and making sure all are included, this is definitely more didactic than the series opener.
There are good lessons here, but here's hoping Bunting will deliver the next ones with a healthier helping of humor. (Early reader. 6-8)