A prolific author/illustrator couple explores the world of frogs.
Once again, Jenkins and Page prove their ability to choose interesting examples, write short, child-friendly explanations, and portray salient features of animals with deftly cut and torn paper images set on white paper. They introduce frogs as “creatures of two worlds,” water and land. The next spread displays half-sized images of 10 of the more than 5,500 frog species currently identified, showing an adult human hand in comparison. In two subsequent spreads, they highlight distinguishing characteristics of frogs as well as of the subset that are called toads, and they define the three major groups of amphibians: frogs and toads, salamanders and newts, and caecilians. They show development from egg through tadpole to adult. Then come examples of remarkable behaviors, drawn from varied environments around the world. These behaviors include adaptations for attracting a mate, caring (or not caring) for eggs, habitat, diet, and defenses. Finally, in a spread on threats, they compare frogs to a “canary in a coal mine” (explaining the reference). A concluding table lists all 30 frogs shown, with body length, diet, and range and acts as an index by indicating page numbers where these frogs can be found. (Helpfully and fairly unusually, for a picture book, there are numbers on every spread.) The backmatter also includes a good list of other books for young readers as well as internet sources.
Another appealing title in a long series of demonstrations of nature’s wonders. (Informational picture book. 4-9)