A FROGGY FABLE

A simple take on the theme that travel is broadening. A solitary frog rejoices in quiet, unvarying routine, but learns to accept change after escaping from captivity and hopping cross-country back to his pond. Reflecting his debut’s uncomplicated plot, Lechner draws both frog and woodsy backdrops in pale hues with a few strokes of pen and watercolor brush; the frog’s mouth is just a straight line that subtly signals mood changes with slight curves up or down. The author also offers no overt moral, so literal-minded readers, especially those faced with life changes and not fond of the prospect, may need follow-up discussion, or a more direct treatment such as Mary Murphy’s Some Things Change (2000). (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: April 1, 2005

ISBN: 0-7636-2123-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2005

Categories:

Awards & Accolades

Likes

  • Readers Vote
  • 66


Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT


  • IndieBound Bestseller

THE WONKY DONKEY

Hee haw.

Awards & Accolades

Likes

  • Readers Vote
  • 66


Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT


  • IndieBound Bestseller

The print version of a knee-slapping cumulative ditty.

In the song, Smith meets a donkey on the road. It is three-legged, and so a “wonky donkey” that, on further examination, has but one eye and so is a “winky wonky donkey” with a taste for country music and therefore a “honky-tonky winky wonky donkey,” and so on to a final characterization as a “spunky hanky-panky cranky stinky-dinky lanky honky-tonky winky wonky donkey.” A free musical recording (of this version, anyway—the author’s website hints at an adults-only version of the song) is available from the publisher and elsewhere online. Even though the book has no included soundtrack, the sly, high-spirited, eye patch–sporting donkey that grins, winks, farts, and clumps its way through the song on a prosthetic metal hoof in Cowley’s informal watercolors supplies comical visual flourishes for the silly wordplay. Look for ready guffaws from young audiences, whether read or sung, though those attuned to disability stereotypes may find themselves wincing instead or as well.

Hee haw. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: May 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-545-26124-1

Page Count: 26

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Dec. 28, 2018

Categories:

WHERE DO FROGS COME FROM?

The lifecycle of the frog is succinctly summarized in this easy reader for children reading at the late first-grade level. In just one or two sentences per page, Vern details the amazing metamorphosis of the frog from egg to tadpole to adult, even injecting a little humor despite the tight word count. (“Watch out fly! Mmmm!) Large, full-color photographs on white backgrounds clearly illustrate each phase of development. Without any mention of laying eggs or fertilization, the title might be a bit misleading, but the development from black dot egg to full-grown frog is fascinating. A simple chart of the three main lifecycle steps is also included. Lifecycles are part of the standard curriculum in the early elementary grades, and this will be a welcome addition to school and public libraries, both for its informational value and as an easy reader. (Nonfiction/easy reader. 5-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-15-216304-2

Page Count: 20

Publisher: Green Light/Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2001

Categories:
Close Quickview