HOPTOAD by Jane Yolen
Kirkus Star


by & illustrated by
Age Range: 2 - 5
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A turtle, toad, and a lizard take off across a wide desert road. Lizard and turtle seem to make it without incident, but toad gets caught in the path of an oncoming truck. Toad hops; truck swerves; “toad-al disaster” is narrowly avoided, and the nice father and son in the truck reunite toad with his reptile buddies. Though it might be the reason most consider purchase of this new work, Yolen’s 43-word rhyming text is not the star here. Schmidt’s watercolor-and-gouache, cartoon-skewed pictures are the real joy. Each double-paged, full-bleed illustration comes from a different perspective. From the father’s worried eyes reflected in the rearview mirror to the toad’s uncertainty about being picked up by the boy, all the characters are expressive. The landscape surrounding this near disaster, though arid, is full of life. The youngest listeners will need the pun at the heart of the story explained to them, but everyone will root for this warty, new hero. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: May 1st, 2003
ISBN: 0-15-216352-2
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Silver Whistle/Harcourt
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15th, 2003


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