Little Frog’s Tadpole Trouble

Tatyana Feeney. Knopf, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-385-75372-2
“Stupid tadpoles,” Little Frog says about his nine new siblings. They can’t do much (“The tadpoles couldn’t even jump”), and they require all of his parents’ attention. Casting the family as frogs lets Feeney show Mommy and Daddy jumping, literally, to fulfill the tadpoles’ needs, netting them out of the bathtub and adding water to the Mason jar they live in. “That’s not nice,” Daddy tells Little Frog. “After all, you were a tadpole once, and very soon they will be little frogs... just like you.” As with her earlier titles, Small Bunny’s Blue Blanket and Little Owl’s Orange Scarf, Feeney strips the story down to the sprightliest details, drawing each frog with a lumpy box body and two blinking, headlamp eyes. The apple-green line drawings set a distinctive detail or two—a fringed picnic blanket, an insect-themed mobile—against white backdrops. It only takes a couple pages for Little Frog to move from resentment to enthusiasm for his new siblings. Feeney’s grasp of picture book pacing and economy is sound, and she delivers the message of patient waiting without sentimentality or snarkiness. Up to age 3. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 10/28/2013
Release date: 01/07/2014
Open Ebook - 29 pages - 978-0-385-75374-6
Hardcover - 26 pages - 978-0-19-273554-6
Library Binding - 32 pages - 978-0-385-75373-9
Paperback - 27 pages - 978-0-19-273555-3
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