The Hidden Life of a Toad

Doug Wechsler. Charlesbridge, $17.99 (48p) ISBN 978-1-58089-738-9
Biologist and photographer Wechsler (Marvels in the Muck) documents the life cycle of a toad, providing crisp images, accompanied by poetic descriptions: “Tiny tadpoles school at the edge of the pond. The water is warm here, and too shallow for big, hungry fish. Tadpoles grow fast in warm water.” Wechsler numbers each day of the toads’ development, helping readers stay connected to the changes taking place as tails and gills take shape (in one especially striking moment on Day 41, readers see a toad’s arm pushing against its translucent skin, ready to burst through). Jumping—toadlike, perhaps—from Day 70 to Day 1097, Wechler shows how an adult toad mates and the cycle begins anew. Wechsler’s images provide a remarkable visual chronicle of an easily overlooked creature, and closing notes leave readers with additional facts about these amphibians. Ages 4–8. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 02/06/2017
Release date: 03/14/2017
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