cover image A Spoonful of Frogs

A Spoonful of Frogs

Casey Lyall, illus. by Vera Brosgol. Greenwillow, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-06-289029-0

The host of cooking show Bewitching Kitchen!—a green-skinned, pink-nosed witch, complete with pointy hat—demonstrates how to make frog soup in this humorous picture book tutorial. But after tossing in various veggies, the key ingredient—the titular froggy spoonful—refuses to cooperate. As the witch tries to maintain a calm telegenic demeanor, the wily, hop-happy frogs escape from their tank, then prove subsequently and continually elusive. Lyall’s (Inky’s Great Escape) sly text follows the witch repeating some variation of the instruction “Place the frogs on the spoon” while unsuccessfully trying to grab, chase, or trap them (“Get another spoon. Use the two spoons to scoop up the frogs”). Employing varied, cinematic framing and comic energy reminiscent of cartoon animation, Brosgol’s (Memory Jars) digital artwork follows the chase out of the TV studio and into the park, where a slippery rock and a proximate pickle truck prove lifesavers for frog and witch both. Ideal for fans of cooking shows—or any kid who gets the giggles from seeing a flustered adult trying to hold it together. Ages 4–8. Author’s agent: Molly Ker Hawn, Bent Agency. Illustrator’s agent: Judy Hansen, Hansen Literary. (July)