cover image Grandpa Toad's Secrets

Grandpa Toad's Secrets

Keiko Kasza, Tony Kasza. Putnam Publishing Group, $16.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-399-22610-6

Kasza's (The Pig's Picnic; The Wolf's Chicken Stew) characteristic cleverness and droll art enliven her fetching tale of a young toad who proves an especially adept pupil. Out for ``a walk in the forest,'' Grandpa Toad shares with Little Toad his secrets for survival. When a snake threatens to devour the elder toad, he puffs himself up in order to appear too large to swallow. Next an oversize snapping turtle pegs Grandpa as a tasty snack, but the savvy senior replies, ``Wouldn't you rather have a feast?'' and sends his would-be devourer scurrying after the snake. But when an enormous monster appears-so large that readers must turn the book sideways to see him in his full-spread ferocity-it is Little Toad who, quickly applying his grandfather's advice about bravery and intelligence, saves his relative from being gobbled up as a ``toad sandwich.'' Though the underlying message here is less profound than in some of Kasza's previous books, the story serves as a witty case study in resourcefulness. Ages 4-8. (Apr.)