Friday, October 2, 2015
999 Frogs... and a Little Brother
by Ken Kimura; illus. by Yasunari Murakami
40 pages; ages 4-8
North/South Books, 2015
It was spring. At the edge of the big big pond, 999 tadpole brothers were playing together.
999 tadpoles were doing well.
998 tadpoles sprouted legs.
So... when the other tadpoles use their froggy legs to frog-kick across the pond, one little tadpole is left behind. And when they use their skinny froggy arms to swim, that last little tadpole is left behind. And when they lose their tails and JUMP! JUMP! JUMP! out of the pond, the last little tadpole watches them go.
And then he hears a tiny voice calling "Big Brother!" It is a young crayfish, and the two of them form a strong amphibian-crustacean brother bond. Which lasts as long as it takes for mama crayfish to find her lost baby.
What I like about this book: The wonderfully simple illustrations of frogs. And crayfish. And the big bad snake. (Did I neglect to mention the snake? ooooh.... he's hungry and loves to eat frogs.) I like stories about unlikely heroes, and people (or frogs) pulling together to help save someone from certain death and ingestion. And it reminds me a whole lot about the story of people trying to pull a humongous turnip out of the garden. Plus 999 is a really big number.
Beyond the book: It's the wrong season to find tadpoles, but you just might find some frogs making a last-minute dash to a wintering spot. Snakes and crayfish will be settling in for winter, too - at least here in the northern hemisphere.
What sort of frogs live near you - and where do they go in the winter? We have wood frogs around these parts. They hibernate in the winter. Draw a picture of a frog that lives in your area.
Why don't frogs freeze in the winter? They turn into "frogcicles". Learn more here and here. How cold does it get where you live? Maybe you can put up an outdoor thermometer on your porch and write down the temperatures every day.
Listen to some frog songs. When the frogs stop calling, you can click here to listen to an hour of frog choruses.
Play Leap Frog with some friends.
Today is 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 Books. Review copy from the publisher.