Fenton's Leap

Fenton's Leap

by Libba Moore Gray, Jo-Ellen Bosson

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Nearsighted Fenton the frog plops around the local pond, barely escaping the claws and jaws of hungry owls and sinister alligators. But while corrective lenses cure the ex-polliwog's peepers, not even Bosson's buoyant watercolors can save Fenton from a story as murky as his hometown swamp. Gray shows little of the delicacy she demonstrated in Dear Willie Rudd . For example, Fenton lands ``right onto the back of a very long ripple-backed alligator'' as his cousins taunt, ``You will never be free . . . / You cannot see to seeeeeeeeee.'' There's enough ``zee, zee, zee,'' ``gurgle, glub'' and ``lurch, splat, blat, drop, plop'' to tie tongues and generate giggles, but the rhymes are corny (``Katy Catfish is my name. / Scavenging swamp bottoms / is my game'') and the sentences cumbersome (``Over and over they turned, glinting in the sun until they landed on the nose of Fenton, who still sat in the cool mud blearily blinking in the very hot sun''). Bosson deserves better--her beguiling sequences of serene greens and aquas refresh like a dip in the lake. Ages 2-5. (June)
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-While his cousins leap gracefully from lily pad to lily pad, Fenton, a near-sighted frog, blunders his way through the swamp, often within reach of a hungry predator. Even worse than the possibility of being eaten, though, is the constant teasing of the other swamp frogs. When Fenton saves a catfish from a fisherman's line, his grateful new friend scours the bottom of the bog and comes up with a shiny pair of spectacles. This fortuitous find helps Fenton see his way clear to a fantastic future. This story has many positive elements: danger and adventure, a touch of humor, catchy refrains, and a clever resolution. Fun-to-read phrases such as ``Gurgle glub'' and ``knee deep'' echo the sounds of the swamp. Bosson's eye-catching watercolor paintings are filled with energy and movement. Each double-page spread is carefully balanced in design and color. Whether Fenton is turning his back on unfriendly frogs, squinting across the pond, or gazing through his new eyewear, his emotions shine through clearly. Unfortunately, the text is often bogged down by wordy sentences that slow the pace and are difficult to read aloud. Try Marc Brown's Arthur's Eyes (Little, 1979; o.p.) or Lane Smith's Glasses (Viking, 1991) for different, and perhaps better-focused perspectives on the subject.-Joy Fleishhacker, New York Public Library

Product Details

Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
8.30(w) x 10.31(h) x 0.41(d)
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

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