Sunday 28 June 2015

Little Frog's Tadpole Trouble

Nine new babies means big trouble!

Text and illustrations: Tatyana Feeney
Oxford University Press 2014
ISBN : 978 0 19 273554 6 HB
ISBN 978 0 19 2735553 3 P
Library copy reviewed

Back of book: 
When Little Frog meets his nine new brothers and sisters, at first he is not impressed. After all, the tadpoles don't do anything. But when they turn into frogs...they also turn into friends.

The Story:
Frog is happy with his family just as it is- Mummy, Daddy and him. Then his parents announce that he is going to be the eldest brother to nine baby tadpoles. He reckons this is bad news- tadpoles can't really do a whole lot, except keep Mummy and Daddy busy. Family life changes for Little Tadpole, but thankfully those little tadpoles grow into nine new playmates. 

Love the minimalistic illustrations in apple green/lime shades
Story Corner :Picture Book Reviews
'Little Frog's Tadpole Trouble'
More from Missus B

What attracted me to this book was it's lovely apple green colour and the simple illustrations. With a combination of water colours and ink drawings, pictures are minimalistic with mainly green, spots of pinks and some black outlining. The font is visually pleasing with the letters having dotted/ bubbled ends-which put me in mind of frogs feet. Although, the dot in the centre of each 'o' seems to add fussiness to the lettering and could bring confusion for self readers. 

The story itself is simple enough- Little Frog is a bit miffed about the upcoming family change. Rightly so, because as soon as the nine tadpoles arrive, Mummy and Daddy are preoccupied with bathing and bedtime. Little Frog is feeling resentful....

Little Frog was not impressed.
The tadpoles couldn't build a tower.
The tadpoles couldn't play the drums.
The tadpoles couldn't even jump.

Little Frog decides his siblings are boring...but 9 little tadpoles seem to love watching their big brother!
Story Corner: Picture Book Reviews
'Little Frog's Tadpole Trouble'
And of course, those tadpoles mean that Mum and Dad are too busy for bedtime stories and good night kisses. 

........Mummy is busy bathing 9 tadpoles
Story Corner: Picture Book Reviews
'Little Frog's Tadpole Trouble' 

Frustrated, Little Tadpole calls them 'Silly Tadpoles' until Daddy reminds him that he was once a baby too, and soon those tadpoles will be little frogs, just like him.  On the next double page spread, we see that :

Little Frog could do all sorts of things with his brothers and sisters. 
In particular building rather good towers.

The story is quickly summed up then, with Little Frog content to have 'nine new playmates' and being 'the best big brother to them all.' And the tadpoles have transformed into playful froglets.

This is a charming, simple story and a nice read for children who are adjusting to the arrival of new siblings- they won't be be needy babies forever! The simple illustrations include quirky details e.g. some tadpoles have eye lashes ('they're the girls!' my story-time listeners told me), a mobile of insects hangs above the tadpole bucket at bedtime & Little Frog's bedtime story is 'The Frog Prince.' Those with attention to detail may notice that, while Little Frog is seen playing his drums, building towers and skipping rope, his little siblings are in their jar, busily watching him. 

Plenty of counting opportunities in 'Little Frog's Tadpole Trouble'
Story Corner : Picture Book Reviews
While I do love the quirky pictures, the pale colours and white background make the pictures difficult to distinguish in a  group setting, unless your story time circle is a nice cosy one. In an up close read, the detailing can be better appreciated. There are some nice counting opportunities- my readers liked the repetition when we counted the tadpoles on each page (as well as debating as to whether each was a boy or girl!) The teacher in me would have liked if we could have seen the little tadpoles gradually morph into frogs. Overall though, this is a charming book.

Happy reading, 
Missus B
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