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999 Frogs Wake Up

999 Frogs Wake Up

5.0 2
by Ken Kimura

Wake up—it’s springtime in the swamp! As 999 young frogs awaken, they panic to find that all of the other animals are still asleep. First they wake the biggest frog... then the tortoise, the lizard, and the ladybugs. But when they hop down a hole and all pull together, they find someone they don’t want to wake—a big, long snake. Don’t


Wake up—it’s springtime in the swamp! As 999 young frogs awaken, they panic to find that all of the other animals are still asleep. First they wake the biggest frog... then the tortoise, the lizard, and the ladybugs. But when they hop down a hole and all pull together, they find someone they don’t want to wake—a big, long snake. Don’t wake him up! Luckily for the frogs, the tortoise carefully carries him away.

Ken Kimura and Yasunari Murakami are back again in this delightful tale about frogs and friendship!

Editorial Reviews

The New York Times - Pamela Paul
A sweet animal story for young readers, 999 Frogs Wake Up is cartoonish and carefree and age-appropriately anthropomorphic…As with its predecessor [999 Tadpoles]…the strong point of this book is its eye-popping design.
Publishers Weekly
The 999 tadpoles from Kimura’s first book are frogs now, but their mother takes the responsibility of keeping track of them just as seriously as before: “No matter how many times she counted, she could still only find 998 froglets. ‘That’s strange,’ she said.” Murakami’s frogs are simple, primitive, papercut-style forms with outsize heads, gold eyes, and pink dots for mouths. It’s the artful way they are scattered across the white pages that gives the spreads their graphic impact. Once the missing 999th frog has been awakened, he returns the favor by waking a turtle and other animal neighbors, who delight in spring’s arrival. When—reprising the joke of 999 Tadpoles—he pulls what turns out to be a still-snoozing snake out of its hole, Mother Frog saves the day. Free of irony and full of innocent, even clichéd, wonder at the beauties of spring (“I always oversleep and miss seeing the flowers, but this year I am awake on time. Thank you!” says the turtle), this book is a gift to the youngest readers, who should thoroughly enjoy it. Ages 4–8. (Mar.)
From the Publisher
 "Murakami’s impish, toy-bright illustrations look — almost — as if a talented 4-year-old might have painted them. In contrast to Hello Kitty-style Japanese Neo-Pop, they have a distinctly, even stubbornly, handmade feel. Besides setting the stage for outlandish fun, the message they convey is unmistakable: Nothing in these pages is not for children. The result is an uncommon picture book designed not only to entertain young people but also to give them their due." The New York Times Book Review
New York Times Book Review - Pamela Paul
"To speak of an insanely gorgeous book about frogs would seem to pose a contradiction in terms...yet here they [it] is: the strong point of this book is its eye-popping design. Once again, a teeming multitude of primitive yet curiously expressive frogs are scattered on a stark white background to very pleasing effect."- New York Times Book Review
Booklist - Daniel Kraus
"Murakami’s big-eyed, kelly-green amphibians, set against large white backdrops, are just as cute now as they were as newborns, and their heedless groupthink as they race around being gee-whiz about everything remains downright adorable."- Daniel Kraus, Booklist
Children's Literature - Valerie Hobbs
This short story makes a great for a read-aloud for any elementary school aged children. It is about a group of frogs waking up different animals for spring, including a turtle, ladybugs, lizards, and lastly a snake. When the frogs wake up the snake, they realize that the snake will want to eat one of them. They quickly enlist the help of the turtle to put the snake back to sleep. This charming story has fantastic illustrations. The illustrations include bold images with bright and fun colors that will help young readers distinguish between characters. The cover full of frogs will instantly capture children’s attention. This will make a great addition to any classroom library. Reviewer: Valerie Hobbs; Ages 4 to 8.
School Library Journal
PreS-K—Wake up, sleepyheads! It's spring! Time to get up and enjoy the blossoming trees and growing flowers! That's what Mother Frog and 998 froglets say to their big brother as he continues to snooze and snore. Big brother finally does awake…but who is that still snoring? It's a turtle, who is grateful that the froglets woke him up in time to see the nearby cherry tree in bloom. Led by their big brother, the froglets proceed to wake up other slumbering creatures, including a lizard and a cluster of ladybugs. But who is that mysterious creature sleeping in the hole? After much tugging and "heave-ho"-ing, the frogs are shocked to discover a large snake eyeing them, looking for his next meal. Luckily, Mother Frog is able to soothe the snake back to sleep and the turtle takes him away, far into the woods. But who is that who went back to sleep along with the snake? It's big brother, all tuckered out from the morning's activities. Murakami's illustrations are bold, bright, and simple; the expression conveyed in something as small as the froglets' pupils tells volumes about the action. The use of white space keeps the focus right where it should be: on the darling froglets and the creatures they encounter. The text is brief enough to keep young audiences interested, particularly with fun expressions such as "zzz," and "POP!" In every way, this follow-up to 999 Tadpoles (NorthSouth, 2011) is a delight, and it is certain to be popular in frog- and springtime-themed storytimes.—Laura Lutz, Pratt Institute, New York City
Kirkus Reviews
The froglets who once were 999 Tadpoles (2011) wake from hibernation for an eventful spring. First, big brother oversleeps. Then, the band of brothers and sisters set out to wake others to enjoy the season and the cherry blossoms. They rouse turtle, then lizard and then a mass of ladybugs. But, oh-oh, the next creature is a big red snake. This sequel is just as child friendly as its predecessor--simple and satisfying. Artful page turns add suspense even before the scary snake wakes up. The story moves along briskly, carried in dialogue as well as narrative. Mother Frog saves the day, and the turtle, grateful at being awoken in time for spring, removes the threat. Murakami's yellow-eyed frogs are surprisingly expressive. Gray-spotted shapes of green against a clean white background, they bounce across the pages, sometimes standing around in a group and sometimes scurrying off. When big brother recognizes the snake, his little pink mouth widens into a terrified grimace. Brown Mother Frog is different in color and size. Big brother is larger, too. The other 998 are largely indistinguishable. Murakami's landscape is only suggested; the imagination supplies the details. Like its predecessor, this Japanese import is an excellent storytime choice. (Picture book. 3-7)

Product Details

NorthSouth Books
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
8.60(w) x 9.50(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Ken Kimura was born in Tottori Prefecture, Japan. In addition to writing children’s books, he makes handmade children’s toys. Mr. Kimura lives in Japan.

Yasunari Murakami was born in Gifu Prefecture, Japan. His illustrations have been honored at the Bolgona Book Fair, the Biennial of Illustrations Bratislava, and with the Japan Picture Book Award, and there is a Yasunari Murakami Museum in the Izu Highland, Japan.

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999 Frogs Wake Up 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
MargieS1 More than 1 year ago
Given To Me For An Honest Review 999 Frogs Wake Up by Ken Kimura is a book for every child's bookshelf.  It is about the frogs that plan to  wake everyone up for spring.  A hungry snake wakes up but the frogs assure him that he can sleep as  long as he wants.  Your child(ren) will laugh and enjoy this book.  They will love the humor that it has.   The illustrations and bright and clear.  If you wish for a great book that your child will love or you  classroom will enjoy this is the book.  I gave it 5 stars but it should have more.  I highly recommend it to  everyone and anyone with a child or works with children.  
Mommmmy More than 1 year ago
My almost 3 year old Grandson absolutely LOVED this book. He would wake me up in the mornings by asking me - 'is it Spring'?