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Saturday, February 28, 2015

I Don't Want to Be a Frog, written by Dev Petty and illustrated by Mike Boldt. Doubleday, Random House. 2015. $19.99 ages 3 and up

"Because you're a

I don't like being
a Frog. It's too

Well, you can't
be a Cat."

Who hasn't wished, at one time or another, to be someone or something different? Thinner, taller, more melodic, younger, older ... the list goes on. Frog is no different from the rest of us. What he doesn't like about being a frog is that frogs are too slimy, too wet and eat entirely too many bugs. Other animals have a certain allure.

While reading a book about cats, he tells his father that he wants to be one. His father is patient in his explanation that his son is, in fact, a frog and cannot be a cat. Not to be undone, the little one changes his mind to an animal that has similarities - he wants to be a rabbit. He can hop! His father points to his ears as an explanation for another unwise choice. Poor son! Poor, beleaguered dad!

When a pig passes by, a third wish pops into his head. Again, his father explains why being a pig is not possible. And certainly not an owl. There are many reasons why that cannot happen. As they share their tasty bug sandwich, Papa nixes any change at all. To the rescue comes a huge, hairy wolf with a cautionary comment about his own personal diet. He loves to eat cats, and rabbits, and pigs, and even owls. In fact, he's pretty hungry right now. Luckily there is one thing he never eats!

Mike Boldt does a terrific job of creating a dynamic duo whose expressions and personalities are the ideal accompaniment to this funny story. The youngster, mouth wide open at all times, is the epitome of the ever-questioning child and the father, glasses intact and advice at the ready, is endlessly patient. They are pitch perfect. The colored speech bubbles will help early readers share read this funny tale, and then share it all over again using the other voices.

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