From School Library Journal
K-Gr 4-Guiberson has carefully chosen and researched 11 varieties of frogs whose habitats are scattered across six continents. In the spare text, she provides a transliteration of each species' song and describes how its young are incubated and hatched. For example, the male Darwin's frog scoops his tadpoles into his mouth and-after seven weeks of incubation-spits out his little froglets. On a spread at the end, the author notes where each frog can be found, its size, and an interesting fact or two. Each of Spirin's exquisitely detailed, larger-than-life illustrations, created with tempera, watercolor, and pencil, provides a two-page close-up of a species in its native habitat, with a large, pale-hued area set aside to house the large-print text. There is just enough information to interest older children who can read the book themselves, but the realistic pictures and fascinating facts can be shared one-on-one with younger children as well. A thought-provoking author's note mentions species-endangering changes in the environment caused by pollution, global warming, and paving of natural pathways. "A frog song is a celebration of clean water, plants, and insects to eat," Guiberson cautions. A bibliography and list of outstanding informational websites are appended to this beautifully presented nature lesson.-Susan Scheps, formerly at Shaker Heights Public Library, OHα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Guiberson, who teamed up with Spirin for the picture book Life in the Boreal Forest (2009), has written many science picture books. Here she introduces 11 frogs from around the world. Each appears on a double-page spread that includes a large, beautiful illustration and a paragraph of information mentioning the frog’s song and something unique about its species. For instance, the Great Plains narrow-mouthed toad shares a tarantula’s burrow and keeps it free of insects, while the Darwin’s frog’s tadpoles develop in their father’s vocal sac for seven weeks before they emerge from his mouth as froglets. An appended page, “Frogs in Trouble,” comments on environmental problems threatening the survival of frogs and affecting humans as well. While the main frog in each illustration is usually clearly delineated, other elements of the picture sometimes look hazy or misty, leaving viewers to wonder whether they represent things mentioned in the text or decorative parts of the scenes. Still, the fascinating facts and impressive tempera, watercolor, and pencil illustrations make this a distinctive introduction to frogs. Grades K-3. --Carolyn Phelan