cover image I Don’t Want to Be a Frog

I Don’t Want to Be a Frog

Dev Petty, illus. by Mike Boldt. Doubleday, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-385-37866-6

First-time author Petty’s dialogue between a frog father and his son makes its point about accepting one’s nature with a big grin. Boldt (Colors Versus Shapes) draws the two with exaggerated stringiness: the son is all rubber lips and sticky toes, his bespectacled father working as straight man. The young frog would rather be a cat, or perhaps a rabbit. “You can’t be a Rabbit,” says his beleaguered father. “Why not? Look, I can hop!” “Sure, but where are your long ears?” The small frog looks up, purses his lips, and feels around his head—nothing! “Besides,” his father adds, “what’s wrong with being a Frog?” “It’s too slimy,” the young frog replies. He wants to be a pig, then an owl, until a wolf appears—one who loves to eat cats, rabbits, pigs, and owls, but considers frogs “too wet and slimy and full of Bugs.” Now the frog sees his existence in a delightful new light. The story might create similar gratitude in the minds of readers—or it might just make them giggle. Ages 3–7. Illustrator’s agent: Jennifer Rofé, Andrea Brown Literary Agency. (Feb.)