Monday, November 7, 2016

Nonfiction Monday: Fabulous Frogs by Martin Jenkins, illustrated by Tim Hopgood

Jenkins and Hopgood are both experienced British authors who have turned out plenty of picture books and nonfiction titles, but neither of them really clicked in my mind until someone had the brilliant idea of combining them to create an absolutely fabulous book about Fabulous Frogs.

The endpapers begin the fun with deep blue water and cloudy splashes of green algae dotted with black tadpoles. A bold yellow background introduces the basics of frogs and then the information begins. Each spread features a different frog with a simple sentence, perfect for reading aloud. Additional information about the specific frog is included in a smaller paragraph. "This frog never leaves the water" accompanies a textured brown frog with pinkish feet. The small paragraph tells the reader it's an African clawed frog, along with a simple fact or two. The final spread shows some more pictures of frogs and gives a simple index to the previous pages.

This is the same format as Candlewick's stunning books about Australian animals, but Hopgood's illustration style is a whole different ballgame from the swirling, messy watercolors of that series. Brilliant colors, emphasizing greens, and art that appears to combine lush paint and cut paper collage explode across the page. The vibrant colors showcase the amazing variety of frogs and their unique talents perfectly.

Verdict: You can never have too many frog books and you absolutely must have this one. Perfect for storytime, kids reading on their own, or introducing kids to different kinds of frogs. Highly recommended.

ISBN: 9780763681005; Published 2016 by Candlewick; Purchased for the library

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