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FROG by Susan Cooper


by Susan Cooper & illustrated by Jane Browne

Age Range: 4 - 8

Pub Date: June 1st, 2002
ISBN: 0-689-84302-X
Publisher: McElderry

A pellucid small story with an economy of words and a lot of meaning. Little Joe is out by the family pool. His siblings swim “like fishes” and his mom, “like a powerboat.” But Joe can’t swim at all, and is teased about it. A tiny frog lands in the pool and can’t get out, despite the family’s noisy efforts. But Joe goes quietly nearby, puts his hand gently under the frog, and lifts it out of the pool toward its pond home. Joe’s been watching the frog carefully, too, and following the pattern of its strong kicks, swims across the pool at last. Words like “splashed” and “hopped” are typeset in waggly large letters so they leap from the page, a visual cue to the onomatopoeia that punctuates the story’s understated rhythm. Bright blue water, green backyard, and sturdy human figures make a fine frame for the tiny, perfectly rendered frog, which has the most personality of all. It is lovely to see so much about family dynamics, respect for the natural world, and learning skills packed into one sun-filled tale. (Picture book. 4-8)