Children's Literature - Marilyn Courtot
Three short stories make up this early reader. In the first frog encounters a big orange thing with a long tail floating in his pond. He is curious, but his friends all speculate on what it is and warn him of potential danger. Brave Frog grabs the long tail and suddenly a big breeze lifts him into the airhis friends all grab hold and manage to make him come back down to earth. Then the orange thing bursts on a tree branch and the friends decide to give it a decent burial. Most young readers will get a laugh as they know it is a balloon. In the next story Frog is given a scarf by Raccoon to help him keep warm since he has a cold. Frog can't figure out how to wear a scarf because he is slippery and has no neck. The scarf is passed along from friend to friend all of whom are very gracious about receiving the gift but find that it doesn't suit them. What goes around comes around and Frog is suddenly presented with the scarf by Possum, but she figures out a way that Frog can wear it and thus he can truly write a thank you note to friend Raccoon. The third story is about a Hippo who has escaped from the zoo and wants to join Frog in his pond. Since this doesn't suit Frog he manages to convince Hippo that her home at the zoo was pretty nice and off she goes; now he once again has the pond to himself. The stories are all charming and the illustrations are delightful. A very appealing and amusing early reader. Targeted for readers in Grades 1-2; Guided Reading Level "k," ATOS Reading Level 2.2; Lexile Measure 290L and a word count of 1312. Reviewer: Marilyn Courtot
School Library Journal
Gr 1–2—This clever beginning reader is divided into three chapters. Frog and his friends tackle an unsolved mystery involving a balloon (or possibly a hippopotamus egg), discover the amazing cycle of regifting, and learn the social graces for managing uninvited houseguests. Repetition, white space, and a large font help prepare children for tackling a smattering of more challenging vocabulary. Bright cartoon illustrations provide some picture clues. Readers will enjoy feeling superior to Frog and his friends, who never manage to identify the orange balloon that lands in the pond. The story comes full circle in the third chapter when a hippopotamus actually does visit the pond and Frog worries that it has come for its egg—which they accidentally killed (popped). A fun addition to early-reader sections.—Julie Roach, Cambridge Public Library, MA
Frog and his friends Rabbit, Possum, Raccoon and Squirrel tickle funny bones, explore the world, solve problems and support each other in this trio of stories.
In the first, Frog calls his friends to see the strange orange object he finds. Their guesses as to what it might be are certain to keep readers in stitches. In the second, Raccoon's gift of a scarf to the neckless Frog turns out to be not-so-perfect until a helping hand steps in. In the last story, a runaway zoo hippo who wants to see the world takes up every inch of space in the pond. Frog cleverly finds a way to get Hippo to appreciate the life he left behind so that he can have his pond back. Masse's brilliantly colored cartoon illustrations capture both the forest pond that is Frog's home as well as the personalities of each character—the rather protective mother Possum is depicted with a lacey collar, and Raccoon sports a natty poncho.
Here's to many more adventures for Frog and his friends, who are sure to go home with fans of Fluffy and Morris. (Early reader. 5-8)