Frog and the Birdsong

Max Velthujis, Author Farrar Straus Giroux $13.95 (1p) ISBN 978-0-374-32467-4
Frog is distressed: he has found a blackbird lying motionless on the ground. Hare determines that the bird is neither sleeping nor sick, but dead, and Frog and his friends sadly bury it. On the way home, their solemnity gives way to high spirits and an appreciation of life. Velthuijs ( Frog in Love ) invests his characters with a full range of expressions; they are simply drawn but immensely personable. The story itself, however, is somewhat flat; the curves of emotion it presents (from confusion to sadness to a renewed sense of life's wonders) seem forced rather than deeply felt, and may require an adult sensibility to interpret. Bijou LeTord's My Grandma Leonie offers a more affecting treatment of the subject for this audience. Ages 3-8. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 03/01/1999
Release date: 03/01/1999
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