This rhyming picture book about an amphibian with a big appetite has as much bounce as its titular character's spring-action legs. The "small, green frog/ on a half-sunk log/ in the middle of a bog" has, apparently, an expandable belly that can keep up with his big eyes and quick tongue. He rapidly ingests "one tick/ as it creeps up a stick," "two fleas/ as they leap through the reeds," and so on, until his wildly bulging form comes to the attention of an alligator-whom the frog had mistaken for the half-sunk log. After a dramatic splash, all the creatures involved get their just deserts. Wilson's (Bear Snores On) blend of early learning concepts, humor and wordplay make for a jaunty read-aloud. Rankin's (Mrs. McTats and Her Houseful of Cats) sassy, intricately composed watercolors feature variegated, saturated backgrounds that often look appropriately bog-spattered and sun-dried (even, sometimes, tie-dyed). Throughout, various insects and the frog himself are more crisply rendered, allowing readers to appreciate their comic expressions. Ages 3-7. (Sept.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
A new addition to the genre that includes stories like "Wide Mouth Frog" and "There was an Old Lady who Swallowed a Fly," this book uses repetition and counting in a way that is predictable and ordinary. The frog eats one tick then two flies and three flies and so on. In the end all are freed when the frog is scared by a large 'gator and the lunch menu is able to escape. Not for the squeamish, educators and librarians will quickly realize that in these pages creatures are eating other creatures. Additional readability issues arise. The rhythm is catchy and suggests at times that the text should be sung aloud or presented with some activity. Font changes and parentheses also call for audience participation but no directions are given. The artwork is lush and provocative. For such a picture-dependent story the illustrations often seem misplaced. Useful for story time. 2003, Margaret K. McElderry Books/Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing Division,
School Library Journal
PreS-This imaginative counting book will keep children laughing as a little frog eats his way through a variety of swamp delicacies, including "ONE tick," "TWO fleas," "THREE flies (Oh, my!)," "FOUR slugs," and "FIVE snails." Upon consuming each snack, "the frog grows a little bit bigger." After he has reached massive proportions, he is suddenly startled when the log he has been resting on develops a pair of yellow eyes and wide jaws. He screams "Gator!" opening his own mouth so wide that the creatures he has eaten are able to escape from his crowded stomach. The countdown is from five to one as the frog shrinks back to his normal size. Happily, the gator loses interest and swims away, because "the itty-bitty frog/isn't big enough to chomp." This gastronomic adventure is told in catchy rhyming verse, complemented by soft, dreamy watercolors that perfectly re-create the bog. The illustrations are enhanced by humorous details, including a flea circus set up in the background, the frog's jaunty sun hat, and the expressive faces of the swamp creatures crammed into the frog's belly. Reminiscent of "There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly," this quirky counting book makes a fine companion to similar titles such as Marilyn Singer's Quiet Night (Clarion, 2002) and Eric Carle's The Very Hungry Caterpillar (Philomel, 1969).-Linda L. Walkins, Mount Saint Joseph Academy, Brighton, MA Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
A simple counting rhyme relates the tale of a frog who eats his way through the bog: one tick, two fleas, three flies, and so on. Eventually, he gets so fat that the "log" upon which he sits takes notice and reveals itself to be a hungry alligator. The frog's panicked scream allows the contents of his tummy to escape, and out they come, from five snails, to four slugs, back down to the one tiny tick. The appropriately folksy text is nicely complemented by pale, splashy watercolors that evoke the swampy setting perfectly. Frog, fleas, flies, and the other "meals" learn a gentle lesson-the smallest ones stay away from the frog, who therefore stays small enough himself that the gator won't pay him any attention. Since the counting only goes up and down to five and everyone is safe at the end, this is especially suitable for the youngest beginning counters. (Picture book. 3-6)
From the Publisher
"The tautly told tale, dramatic surprise, and appropriate comeuppance for the protagonist will delight young listeners."
Horn Book Guide
"Wilson's bouncy, humorous verses mesh well with Rankin's cartoonlike, watercolor illustrations, which fairly teem with visual asides."
"This imaginative counting book will keep children laughing...."
School Library Journal
"Wilson's blend of early learning concepts, humor, and wordplay make for a jaunty read-aloud."
Publishers Weekly, starred review