Growing frogs

Vivian French

Book - 2000

A mother and child watch as tadpoles develop and grow into frogs.

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Picture books
Cambridge, Mass : Candlewick Press 2000.
1st U.S. ed
Physical Description
unpaged : ill
Main Author
Vivian French (-)
Other Authors
Alison Bartlett, 1961- (illustrator)
Review by School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 3-There's just something about Growing Frogs that captures the imagination. After a mother and daughter read a story about a frog that gets bigger and bigger, Mom suggests further study. Off they go to collect frog spawn (in small quantity from a man-made pond, lest the dwindling frog population be further endangered) and then watch the transformation and return the little frogs to the home pond. Spirited splashes of bright acrylics stretch and focus the enterprise to illustrate the developmental stages of a frog as the diminutive zoologist nurtures her cluster with Mom providing support when needed. Though the illustrations may not present the minute, scientific detail required in a field guide, they are just right for a first encounter with tadpole mysteries. The text presents all of the essential tips in such a lively manner that readers will want to become involved. Various factoids in smaller type appear throughout the adventure to ensure a successful experience. Though youngsters fascinated by frogs may be drawn to this text on their own, it will make a most rewarding read-together or read-aloud to a class. A hopping-good collaboration.-Jody McCoy, The Bush School, Seattle, WA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. Review by Horn Book Review

(Primary) Vivian French addresses misconceptions about frogs in this tale of a young girl who fears frogs because of a story her mother read in which the amphibian hero ""grew bigger and bigger and bigger."" Unwilling to let the inaccuracy persist, this Montessori mom takes the youngster to a nearby pond, where they gather frog spawn so they can observe the natural metamorphosis from egg to tadpole to frog-a small frog, in this case. While the girl's concerns anchor the narrative, the heart of this account is the process by which frog eggs become frogs. French provides enough step-by-step guidance so that readers can gather and observe their own frog spawn, but enough detail so that the vicarious scientific experience will inform those who don't want to re-create the procedure. Italicized factual tidbits interspersed throughout the text expand the story with additional scientific information. Although these amphibian growth patterns exemplify those of common true frogs found throughout the United States, they are not universal. Some frogs, for example, lay eggs on the ground that hatch into tiny frogs without ever going through the tadpole stage. Others, such as the bullfrog, grow larger than French implies in this case. These particular examples, however, merely limit the text from universal extrapolation; they do not distract from the story at hand. And what a glorious experience this frog raising appears to be. Bartlett's vibrant color field employs Kermit-colored greens for backgrounds, deep blues and forest greens for the outdoors, sunny yellows for moments of discovery, and quieter teals and lavenders for periods of slow activity. Her use of multiple frames showing tadpole and frog development paces the action well while allowing enough detail for readers to see small, but important, changes. (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. Review by Kirkus Book Review

A little girl and her mom go down to the pond to collect frog spawn in this picture book science title, which shows and tells step-by-step how eggs hatch into tadpoles and tadpoles grow to frogs. French (Not Again, Anna, 1998, etc.) captures the emotions of a rather timid young girl who says: ``I don't want any frogs jumping around getting bigger and bigger and bigger.'' Her comforting, patient mom, responds: ``Even when our frogs grow up, they'll still be smaller than my hand.'' Taking her daughter down to the pond, she helps her gather spawn and prepare an aquarium where they can hatch. The author is careful to provide a forward and careful directions, noting frogs are endangered and urging frog-lovers to take only a little spawn from man-made ponds. She encourages nature observers to return frogs to the wild. The illustrator uses bright colors and a flat, primitive style to show mother and daughter: people have dots for eyes, and triangles for noses. Tadpoles, when they hatch however, are painted with precise detail, so the young viewer can see eyes, tails, gills, bumps for limbs, and legs. The author concludes with an index and a note that every year she and her daughter collected frog spawn. Colorful and informative. (Nonfiction. 5-8)

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