Some Frog!

Overview

Billy's frog looks like a winner and the day of the frog jump will be perfect - if only his dad shows up.There's a frog-jumping competition at school and Billy asks his dad to help him catch a frog. But when it's time to hunt for a good jumper, Dad doesn't show up. Billy's mom comes through, again, and the frog they catch looks like a champ. Maybe Billy's dad will be at the big event.

Grandpa gives some sage advice on how to talk to a frog, and on the big day, Billy coaxes that ...

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Overview

Billy's frog looks like a winner and the day of the frog jump will be perfect - if only his dad shows up.There's a frog-jumping competition at school and Billy asks his dad to help him catch a frog. But when it's time to hunt for a good jumper, Dad doesn't show up. Billy's mom comes through, again, and the frog they catch looks like a champ. Maybe Billy's dad will be at the big event.

Grandpa gives some sage advice on how to talk to a frog, and on the big day, Billy coaxes that frog into a huge, terrific, winning jump. His dad doesn't come, so the day isn't perfect. But as he's taking his winning frog back to the pond, Billy realizes things are pretty good anyway. Maybe his dad will come next year.

Eve Bunting is the author of dozens of books for a wide range of ages, including the Caldecott Medal - winning Smoky Night Harcourt Brace, 1994, illustrated by David Diaz. Ms. Bunting lives with her husband in Pasadena, California.

Billy is disappointed when his father doesn't show up to help him catch a frog for the frog-jumping competition at school, but the one he and his mother catch wins the championship and Billy begins to accept his father's absence.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A sensitive and honest story."—School Library Journal
"Bunting's easy-flowing dialogue and realistic situations give this picture book/chapter book both depth and heart."—Publishers Weekly
Publishers Weekly
"Huckleberry Finn has nothing on Billy when it comes to frog-jumping contests," wrote PW. "Easy-flowing dialogue and realistic situations give this picture book/chapter book both depth and heart." Ages 6-9. (Apr.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Huckleberry Finn has nothing on Billy when it comes to frog-jumping contests. Enticed by the grand prize of two tickets to a Cubs game at Wrigley Field, Billy plans to catch a whopper of a frog and enter it in the school contest. Best of all, Dad, who no longer lives with Billy and his mom, has promised to come over and help. Billy fights off tears when his unreliable dad just never shows up. But Mom, Grandma and Grandpa make sure Billy has a frog adventure to remember. Bunting's (Smoky Night; Summer Wheels) easy-flowing dialogue and realistic situations give this picture book/chapter book both depth and heart. She leads readers to experience disappointment, excitement and joy right along with Billy as he moves through a particularly emotional day. The story, broken into nine brief chapters, is generously illustrated with Medlock's (Extra Innings: Baseball Poems) slightly impressionistic oil paintings, which feature familiar scenes of home and classroom as well as an arresting sequence showing Billy and Mom's nocturnal trip to the frog pond. The combination of ample art and plentiful dollops of text is just right for early- and beginning readers, especially those who may enjoy an alternative to the many paperback series aimed at them. Ages 6-10. (Sept.)
Children's Literature - Leslie Julian
Billy is ready for his class frog-jumping competition. Mom has made green frog cookies for the party afterward. Grandma's hand-made frog costume is sure to make everyone smile, Grandpa's wading boots are by the door waiting...and so is Billy. Will Dad finally keep a promise and take him to catch a real jumper? If he could only win, he and Dad could go to the Cubs game with the prize tickets. But when Dad doesn't show, Mom appears in wading boots and tosses Billy his coat. Together, they catch the biggest frog in the pond, who is lovingly dubbed Amphibian. Not only does Amphibian win the contest, but he also shows Billy that his family, although it could be better, is pretty good the way it is.
School Library Journal
Gr 2-4-In a sensitive and honest story, Bunting captures the heartache of a child whose parent doesn't follow through on a promised excursion. Billy lives with his mother and grandparents, but his father has arranged to take him to catch a frog for his class' frog-jumping competition. When his father fails to show up and the expedition is threatened, his understanding mom and grandparents step in and help the boy learn that his life is really "very good the way it is," although his dad's presence would have enhanced the occasion. The author does an excellent job of presenting a realistic situation and its resolution in straightforward yet eloquent prose. Medlock's bright oil illustrations appear on almost every page, adroitly mirroring the child's emotions and the contest events. This is an early chapter book, but its subject matter will appeal to slightly older readers as well.-Judith Constantinides, East Baton Rouge Parish Main Library, LA
Kirkus Reviews
A classroom frog-jumping competition results in a lesson in understanding and forgiveness, as a young boy learns that parents aren't perfect. Disappointed by his father's repeated broken promises, Billy finds it hard to hide his feelings and harder still to stop expecting the attention and love that his father is unable or unwilling to give. Waiting patiently to go frog-hunting at Miller's Pond, Billy's heart sinks as the minutes slip away and his dad fails to appear. He and his mother end up going to Miller's Pond and catch the frog that, the next day, easily wins the contest. Bunting's ending is realistic but hopeful; Billy's father never shows up, but Billy recognizes the value of the relationship he has with his mother and knows to expect less from adults. The plot, paced more like an easy reader than a picture book, and with a large typeface and ample atmospheric paintings, make this appeal to emerging readers, especially those facing their own feelings of loss and abandonment. (Fiction. 6-10)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780152163846
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 4/28/2002
  • Edition description: 1
  • Pages: 48
  • Sales rank: 681,528
  • Age range: 6 - 9 Years
  • Product dimensions: 7.01 (w) x 9.01 (h) x 0.13 (d)

Meet the Author

EVE BUNTING has written over two hundred books for children, including the Caldecott Medal-winning Smoky Night, illustrated by David Diaz. She lives in Southern California.

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