cover image The Mystery of Darwin%E2%80%99s Frog

The Mystery of Darwin%E2%80%99s Frog

Marty Crump, illus. by Steve Jenkins and Edel Rodriguez. Boyds Mills, $16.95 (40p) ISBN 978-1-59078-864-6

An amphibian with some highly unusual biological characteristics is the subject of this thorough examination. In 1834, while exploring Lemuy Island in southern Chile, Charles Darwin discovered a previously unidentified species of frog with a pointy nose. Decades later, scientists noticed a curious detail about it: tadpoles frequently reside inside the male frogs%E2%80%99 vocal sacs%E2%80%94just one of several mysteries to emerge surrounding Darwin%E2%80%99s frog, some of which went unsolved well into the 20th century (the reason behind the frogs%E2%80%99 diminishing population remains an open question). Jenkins%E2%80%99s cut-paper constructions combine with Rodriguez%E2%80%99s portraits of scientists and with arresting color photographs of the frogs in the wild. Crump investigates a riddle of biodiversity with clarity and style. Ages 7%E2%80%9311. (Apr.)