Frog Song

Overview

Since the time of the dinosaurs, frogs have added their birrups and bellows to the music of the earth. Frogs are astonishing in their variety and crucial to ecosystems. Onomatopoeic text and stunning illustrations introduce young readers to these fascinating and important creatures, from Chile to Nepal to Australia, in Frog Song by Brenda Z. Guiberson.

An NPR Best Book of 2013

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Overview

Since the time of the dinosaurs, frogs have added their birrups and bellows to the music of the earth. Frogs are astonishing in their variety and crucial to ecosystems. Onomatopoeic text and stunning illustrations introduce young readers to these fascinating and important creatures, from Chile to Nepal to Australia, in Frog Song by Brenda Z. Guiberson.

An NPR Best Book of 2013

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

The New York Times - Pamela Paul
…the swampy creatures are described in their intricate, full-color realistic glory—warts and all. Gennady Spirin has four times been the recipient of a New York Times Best Illustrated Children's Books award, and his latest masterpiece of illustration is nothing less than a springtime reverie. Bursting with detail, especially in the opulent end pages, Spirin's tableaus of blooming lily pads, laden with flowers and frogs, resemble 17-century Dutch still lifes in their awed contemplation of the natural world. Textures snap to life—glistening, sticky eggs on a midwife toad; the loamy banks of a river; the terrifying fuzziness of a frog-eating tarantula.
Publishers Weekly
The team behind Life in the Boreal Forest focuses on a single animal: frogs. The magnificently gifted Spirin paints larger-than-life portraits of 11 frog species from every corner of the world, showing the texture of their skin and the gleam of their eyes in intricately worked, tapestry-like spreads. Many of the frogs have unique, even startling childbearing behaviors. In some species, males tend the developing frog eggs. The Darwin’s frog, from Chile, wins the prize for the strangest place to keep them: “They slither into his vocal sacs, where he keeps them safe and moist for 7 weeks. Then he gives a big yawn, and little froglets pop out.” The consciousness of the fragility of frogs and their dependence on clean air and water to survive is emphasized throughout. Guiberson speaks of frog voices as a beacon, a signal of the Earth’s continued health: “A frog song is a celebration of clean water, plants, and insects to eat. Chiroop. Pribble!” Back matter supplies additional information about frog species, resources, and threats. Spirin’s paintings make this a book to treasure. Ages 4–8. (Feb.)
From the Publisher
*"There is just enough information to interest older children who can read the book themselves, but the realistic pictures and fascinating facts can be shared one-on-one with younger children as well." — School Library Journal, starred review 

*“Guiberson speaks of frog voices as a beacon. . . . Spirin’s paintings make this a book to treasure.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review

 

"Another harmonious salute to the natural world by an accomplished pair." — Kirkus Reviews

"The fascinating facts and impressive tempera, watercolor, and pencil illustrations make this a distinctive introduction to frogs." — Booklist

Praise for Life in the Boreal Forest:

“This nonfiction book shows why the boreal forest, home to a unique ecosystem of plants and animals, is as big and important as tropical rain forests.” —USA Today

* “Gorgeously intricate illustrations perfectly complement equally evocative text in this introduction to the great northern, or boreal, forest, which sprawls across the entire northern hemisphere. . . . Guiberson and Spirin manage to successfully convey the beauty and majesty of this forest and its denizens in two dimensions, and a list of organizations devoted to preserving the forest provides further information. An author’s note adds urgency to the message about the importance of preservation.” —Booklist, starred review

“Taking readers through the seasons, Guiberson and Spirin present a verbal and pictorial treasury for nature lovers and young researchers alike.” —School Library Journal

“Beautiful and useful.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Each of the stunning paintings in this catalog of the boreal forest, the great northern forest, is breathtakingly beautiful. They are in the style of Audubon and other great naturalist painters. They breathe life into the creatures, give texture to their fur and feathers and capture a sense of place.” —The Oppenheim Toy Portfolio

Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
In the pages of this book, we travel to ecosystems around the world to listen to the different "songs" frogs and toads sing in their various environments. We learn about the strawberry poison dart frog of Costa Rica, the Great Plains narrow-mouthed toad of Oklahoma, the Surinam toad of Ecuador, the Scarlet-sided pobblebonk of Australia, the male midwife toad of Spain, the Darwin's frog of Chile, the shovel-nosed frog of Ethiopia, the four-lined tree frog of Borneo, the water-holding frog of the Australian desert, the Archey's frog of New Zealand, and the wood frog of Canada. From the front endpages on, it is evident that Spirin is master of his medium in his naturalistic renderings of frogs, toads, and the various plants and watery venues they call home. His tempera, pencil, and watercolor illustrations remind us of Renaissance art in their detail and imaginative design. The double-page scenes in this large book each comfortably contain four or five lines of informative text while presenting the complex varieties of aquatic life. Guiberson includes additional notes about each frog or toad, plus facts on frogs in trouble and sources for more information. Do not miss the contrasting jacket and cover. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
K-Gr 4—Guiberson has carefully chosen and researched 11 varieties of frogs whose habitats are scattered across six continents. In the spare text, she provides a transliteration of each species' song and describes how its young are incubated and hatched. For example, the male Darwin's frog scoops his tadpoles into his mouth and-after seven weeks of incubation-spits out his little froglets. On a spread at the end, the author notes where each frog can be found, its size, and an interesting fact or two. Each of Spirin's exquisitely detailed, larger-than-life illustrations, created with tempera, watercolor, and pencil, provides a two-page close-up of a species in its native habitat, with a large, pale-hued area set aside to house the large-print text. There is just enough information to interest older children who can read the book themselves, but the realistic pictures and fascinating facts can be shared one-on-one with younger children as well. A thought-provoking author's note mentions species-endangering changes in the environment caused by pollution, global warming, and paving of natural pathways. "A frog song is a celebration of clean water, plants, and insects to eat," Guiberson cautions. A bibliography and list of outstanding informational websites are appended to this beautifully presented nature lesson.—Susan Scheps, formerly at Shaker Heights Public Library, OH
Kirkus Reviews
In this oversized album, 11 frogs from around the world exemplify the varied ways frogs find enough moisture to keep themselves and their eggs and tadpoles alive. "Frogs have a song" Guiberson reminds readers. From the "PSSST-PSSST" of the strawberry poison dart frog in the rain forest to the "BRACKBRACK!" of the wood frog in a bog, spread by spread she introduces readers to both songs and singers. Short paragraphs ring variations on the theme of frog life and reproduction. In Oklahoma, the Great Plains narrow-mouthed toad shares a damp burrow with a tarantula. The swamp-dwelling Surinam toad carries eggs under her skin. In a Chilean forest, Darwin's frog keeps his tadpoles in his vocal sacs. Spirin's detailed paintings, done with tempera, watercolor and pencil in a realistic palette of greens and browns, show frogs in their surroundings, blending in and yet standing out, poised to leap off the page. Finally, "A frog song is a celebration of clean water, plants, and insects to eat." This message is followed by two pages of fast facts about the species described in prose and illustrated with thumbnails--but, alas, there are no maps. There's also a reminder that frogs today are in trouble and a bibliography including both children's and adult books and websites. Another harmonious salute to the natural world by an accomplished pair. (Informational picture book. 4-9)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780805092547
  • Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
  • Publication date: 2/5/2013
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 344,189
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: AD950L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 10.80 (w) x 11.20 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Brenda Z. Guiberson is the author of many books for children, including Life in the Boreal Forest; Ice Bears; Rain, Rain, Rainforest; The Emperor Lays an Egg; and the bestselling Cactus Hotel. She lives near Seattle, Washington.

Gennady Spirin has been awarded five gold medals from the Society of Illustrators, the first prize in both the Bologna and Barcelona International Book Fairs, and has been chosen four times for the New York Times Best Illustrated Books list. He lives in Princeton, New Jersey.

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Reading Group Guide

ABOUT THE BOOK

A frog song is a celebration of enough clean water, plants, and insects to eat. Since the time of the dinosaurs, frogs have added their ribbits and bellows to the music of the earth. Frogs are astonishing in their variety and crucial to ecosystems. It is our job to keep our planet clean and fruitful so that frogs can continue to sing throughout the ages. Onomatopoeic text and stunning illustrations introduce young readers to these fascinating and important creatures, from Oklahoma to Chile to Australia.

 

 

USING FROG SONG WITH COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS

Frog Song is appropriate for grades P to 3. The Standards included below are examples from the first grade standards; teachers may want to visit the Common Core State Standards Web site to apply their own gradelevel equivalents. The subheadings and numerical references will help users easily locate the coordinating standards for specific grade levels.

Reading Standards for Informational Text K–5

RI.1.3 Describe the connection between two individuals, events, ideas, or pieces of information in a text.

RI.1.4 Ask and answer questions to help determine or clarify the meaning of words and phrases in a text.

RI.1.10 With prompting and support, read informational texts appropriately complex for grade 1.

Writing Standards K–5

W.1.2 Write informative/explanatory texts in which they name a topic, supply some facts about the topic, and provide some sense of closure.

Speaking and Listening Standards K–5

SL.1.1 Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about grade 1 topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.

SL.1.4 Describe people, places, things, and events with relevant details, expressing ideas and feelings clearly

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