A “teeny-tiny” toad leaps into a big, rhyming adventure.
A twig snaps, launching the toad up into a tree. A bird pecks, and the toad plunges down into a flower. A bee buzzes, and the toad books it into the grass. On and on it goes, as the toad encounters more and more nearby creatures, each time swiftly employing his best exit strategy. The cadence of the language calls to mind the nursery classic “Over in the Meadow,” but the predictable, circular plot is different enough to warrant multiple rereadings. Archer’s wordplay shines in her use of rhyming adjectives, such as “teeter-totter,” “raggy-shaggy,” and “hush-rush.” The typeface is large and readable against the simple backgrounds—especially the bold onomatopoeic sounds and actions, printed in colorful display type. Wilsdorf’s ink-and-watercolor illustrations expertly synchronize with the rhythm of the text: a visual pattern of spot illustrations followed by three-quarter-page spreads to introduce each new verse and setting. Readers will delight in the toad’s many silly expressions and in opportunities to test their memories of the plot. The sparse endpapers, depicting toad riding a leaf in the breeze, suggest prior and further journeys for the hapless amphibian.
A catchy, “hippy-hoppy” storytime read-aloud with “easy, breezy” language. (Picture book. 3-7)