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Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Fabulous Frogs, written by Martin Jenkins and illustrated by Tim Hopgood. Candlewick Press, Random House. 2016. $22.00 ages 5 and up

"This one is called
a flying frog,
although it can't
really fly.

He lives in trees in forests
in Southeast Asia. It spreads
out the skin between its toes
to help it float in the air when
it jumps from tree to tree."

In the first sentence of his new book (provided as front matter before the title page), Martin Jenkins astounds this reader with the fact that 'there are more than 5,000 kinds of frogs, and that each one is different. That is not to say that they are totally different; they do have some common attributes.

"All frogs have short bodies, big black legs, smaller front legs, and no tail. Almost all of them can jump, but some can only manage short hops. They eat small animals like snails, slugs, worms, beetles, and flies."

He goes on to tell his audience about almost twenty different species that are found throughout the world. There are eleven in the main text; then, wanting to include as many frogs as he can, he adds eight named species at the end, without description and surely as an invitation to look further if you want to know more about them.

Tim Hopgood’s mixed media illustrations allow children a close look at the variety in size, shape, and color. Changing views keep readers focused on each species while the author names them and provides the scientific name, and further information concerning their habitat and species.

If you have plans to go pond dipping to see what you can find in the water during this spring season, it would be a bonus to have this book to share with your dippers!

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