Friday, November 21, 2008

Cybils Book Review - Little Green Frogs

I've seen my fair share of frog life cycle books, as this topic is a staple in the elementary curriculum. Egg . . . tadpole . . . froglet . . . frog . . . egg . . . Well, you get the idea. What I haven't seen recently is a fresh approach to this story. Until now.

Little Green Frogs
, written and illustrated by Frances Barry, is what Candlewick calls a "Fold Out and Find Out" book. Not nearly as fragile as a pop-up book, it is constructed in such a way that I consider it a novelty book. Translation - Great for read aloud, but if you want it last (particularly in a classroom), I wouldn't recommend putting it in the hands of the very readers it's aimed at! The pages in this book don't simply open to the left, they unfold in a circular fashion until the pages resemble the petals of a flower that has opened. Here's a view of the book partially opened.
The first page reads:
Frog eggs, frog eggs,
floating in the pond,
how will you grow?
The illustration shows five jellied eggs with a black mass in the center. Opening/unfolding the page reveals a lily pad and fish on the reverse. The next page reads:
Frog eggs, frog eggs,
hatching in the pond,
how will you grow?
The illustration nows show five eggs with tiny tadpoles emerging. The back side of this page reveals another lily pad, flowers, and insects.

And so it goes. Each page moves the story of the frog life cycle forward in text and illustrations. It also grows the reader's view of the pond, adding more lily pads, fish, flowers, rocks and more. The final page show five frogs climbing on some rocks, one with its long tongue darting towards an insect. It reads:
Green frogs, green frogs,
crawling from the pond,
read, steady, hop, hop.
When the book is completely open, five grown frogs are hopping off the pages to the words "Off you go!" The words "Lift here" appear at the top of the octagon that serves as the book's center. Lift here really means fold down. Upon doing so, readers will find information on how to raise tadpoles at home.

The metamorphosis as displayed in this format brings the magic of this change to life. The presentation is lovely and livens up the life cycle story. It does take some care to fold the pages back into the binding, but it is well worth the effort. I recommend this one for adding a hint of wonder and surprise to your life cycle lessons.

Book: Little Green Frogs
Frances Barry
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Date Published:
22 pages
Source of Book: Interlibrary loan (Thank you Alachua County Library District!)

**NOTE - Frances Barry has another Fold Out and Find Out book entitled Sunflower. I'm sure you can imagine how this seed to flower story unfolds.


  1. I loved this one! The Sunflower book is great too, but this one really got the whole "life cycle" thing down pretty well.

  2. This looks marvelous! I'll have to look for it for my little guys.

  3. Oooh, this looks neat. Thanks, Tricia.