TADPOLE'S PROMISE by Jeanne Willis

TADPOLE'S PROMISE

by & illustrated by
Age Range: 6 - 8
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KIRKUS REVIEW

In this deceptively innocuous love story, a caterpillar and a polliwog pledge their love, promising each other that they will never change. Fat chance, obviously: Each time they reunite, polliwog has grown new limbs. When he loses his tail, the caterpillar declares her heart is broken and huffs off to nurse her sorrows in a cocoon. Ross illustrates this economically told tale with equally sketchy watercolors, creating a serene natural setting, but turning it sideways so that the gutter becomes the boundary between land and water, and keeping background detail to a minimum to maintain visual focus on the rainbow-hued caterpillar and her “shiny black pearl.” In the end, she emerges rather different in form herself, but when she repentantly flutters down to a certain frog at the water’s edge, the romance comes to an abrupt and fatal end. The setup being perfect enough to leave even adult readers unsettled, this makes a promising addition to the “share if you dare” list, next to, say, Chris Raschka’s Arlene Sardine (1998). (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: June 1st, 2005
ISBN: 0-689-86524-4
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Atheneum
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15th, 2005




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