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Foo, the Flying Frog of Washtub Pond

Overview

For kids of all sizes (and boasting ability), a funny fable about growing pains, the ups and downs of friendship, and the gift of forgiveness.

In a cozy, tropical place called Washtub Pond, three web-footed creatures pass carefree days playing and dreaming together. Sue-Lin Salamander, Mao-Mao Mudpuppy, and Foo Frog have been best, samesize friends since the day they were born. But like all young creatures, these three grow up — and some really BIG changes in Foo Frog put the ...

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Overview

For kids of all sizes (and boasting ability), a funny fable about growing pains, the ups and downs of friendship, and the gift of forgiveness.

In a cozy, tropical place called Washtub Pond, three web-footed creatures pass carefree days playing and dreaming together. Sue-Lin Salamander, Mao-Mao Mudpuppy, and Foo Frog have been best, samesize friends since the day they were born. But like all young creatures, these three grow up — and some really BIG changes in Foo Frog put the trio’s friendship to the test. With warmth, lighthearted wit, and a bit of hot air, Belle Yang has written and painted a laugh-out-loud story in bold, comedic strokes.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Joan Elste
The simple concept of growing up is nicely told in this story when three friends, all born on the same day in the same place, notice they are changing in size as the days pass. Sue-Lin Salamander, Mao-Mao Mudpuppy, and Foo Frog play together each day but as Foo Frog grows bigger and stronger than the other two, his friends notice he is beginning to brag a lot about how he is the biggest animal in the whole world. When Sue-Lyn and Mao-Mao discover an elephant drinking at the pond from under their lily pad one day they cannot wait to tell Foo. When he hears the news, Foo sucks in so much air that a puff of wind lifts him off the ground and carries him off. His superior attitude is finally crushed when he meets up with a great white heron, a huge fish, and a giant sea turtle. Foo finally meets up with the elephant and realizes he is just a very small frog in a very big world. This cute story about growing up and friendship would warm the heart of any child. The illustrations are comical but carry a good message. Reviewer: Joan Elste
School Library Journal

PreS-Gr 2

On the banks of Washtub Pond, Foo Frog, Sue-Lin Salamander, and Mao-Mao Mudpuppy live as friends the same size until Foo starts growing. Unfortunately, his ego grows as well, and soon he is convinced that he is the biggest animal in the world. When his friends try to tell him about the enormous elephant they saw, he puffs himself up to prove his size and floats away. Encounters with a heron, a huge fish, a sea turtle, and the elephant literally let the hot air out of Foo until, ego deflated, he returns to his friends. They agree that he is the "perfect size...for a frog" and "the perfect size for a friend." This variation on a common folktale theme is endearing for its focus on the emotions and relationships of the characters. Yang lends a distinctly Chinese feel to the story through onomatopoeic phrases that will be unfamiliar to many Western readers ("shuuuuuu" as hot air whistles out of the frog, "peiii!" as a turtle spits him out), and through the bright, folk-flat feeling of her gouache illustrations.-Kathleen Kelly MacMillan, Carroll County Public Library, MD

Kirkus Reviews
Foo Frog, Sue-Lin Salamander and Mao-Mao Mudpuppy share a special web-footed friendship. They were born on exactly the same spot on the banks of Washtub Pond, at exactly the same time and exactly the same size. But all too soon, everything begins to change. Foo Frog grows bigger. Along with his tummy, his head grows too. Just like Aesop's age-old arrogant frog, Foo boasts proudly, "I must be the biggest animal in the whole wide world!" He puffs himself up to prove it. But is he? The rumbling Kuong! Kuong! Kuong! of the elephant's footsteps tell otherwise. Bold swirls of wind and buoyant brush strokes effortlessly lift Foo into the air, sending him soaring over the pond. Yang's bright, folk-art-style gouache illustrations and animated sound effects enliven this fable. Young readers will delight in spotting other tiny, whimsical characters along the journey-especially Washtub Pond's keenly observant snail. Luckily for Foo, this story ends in sweet lessons of friendship and humility, not a fatal burst. (Picture book. 4-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780763636159
  • Publisher: Candlewick Press
  • Publication date: 2/10/2009
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 3 - 7 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.20 (w) x 10.20 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Belle Yang has written and illustrated two highly praised books for adults and three picture books for children, including Hannah Is My Name and Always Come Home to Me, which was named the Chinese American Librarians Association Best Book Award Winner for 2008. She lives in California.
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