Friday, May 8, 2015

Toad Weather

Toad Weather
by Sandra Markle; illus. by Thomas Gonzalez
32 pages; ages 4-8
Peachtree, 2015

OK, I'll admit it... I chose this book by the cover. I mean, how can anyone resist those boots? Or a toad?

theme: animals, nature
In the gloomy gray
of a March day
 the spring rain keeps falling.

Ally wants to go outside but it's wet out there. Umbrella and boot weather. But Mama has seen something important, so off they go, splish-splashing their way down the city sidewalks. There are reflections in the puddles, colors swirling on the water, and the sound of raindrops drumming on their slickers. And a surprise: a sign that says TOAD DETOUR.

What I like about this book:
Lots of sounds. Lots of rain. And TOADS! Everywhere! Hopping, plopping, trying to make their way to their pond. Which means crossing the road. Will people help them? 

Beyond the book:

What kind of toads (or frogs) live around you? I always find American Toads in my garden, hiding in the shade. Sometimes in the lawn. Take a field guide with you and see who's living in your neighborhood.

How far do toads travel in a single hop? Not far. If you have some toads hanging around your yard, you can measure how far they hop by placing stones or sticks on the ground. Then get a ruler to measure. Compare toad jumps to the jumps of frogs or grasshoppers or crickets - or even you. But to make it fair, compare jump distance to body size.

Is a toad a frog? And how can you tell? (some hints here)

Go on a night walk. Around here, spring peepers can get pretty noisy late in the day. Once the sun falls the night can be positively noisy with frog and toad songs. Here are some of the calls you might hear of you go for a night walk or leave your windows open at night.

Today's review is part of the STEM Friday roundup. Drop by STEM Friday blog for more science books and resources. We're also joining PPBF (perfect picture book Friday), an event in which bloggers share great picture books at Susanna Leonard Hill's site. She keeps an ever-growing list of Perfect Picture BooksReview copy from the publisher.


  1. Wellies and toads are a winner!

  2. You always have such thoughtful suggestions for activities to extend the book. I particularly like the toad hop measuring activity. I can see children pretending they were toads and measuring their hops as well.

  3. Wow. I love this. Gotta find it!

  4. Great title and cover! Thanks for sharing.

  5. It's been raining here for days and days, highly unusual - the trees and I are ecstatic!