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Hoptoad Hardcover – May 1, 2003

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 1-Rhymed text, with no more than three large-print words per page, chronicles a toad's attempt to cross a desert highway. A lizard and tortoise accompany the critter part way, but his mid-road rest stop causes a boy and his dad to stop their red camper and assist. The watercolor-and-gouache scenes depict desert flora, and Schmidt makes comic use of the toad's perspective in a surrealistic view of the vehicle. Fun for new readers, the book also serves as a quick read-aloud for preschoolers, who will thrive on the suspense.
Gay Lynn Van Vleck, Henrico County Library, Glen Allen, VA
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

PreS-K. Why did the toad cross the road? To get to the other side, of course. In Yolen's simple picture book for preschoolers, a toad and his reptilian desert buddies attempt to cross a road in front of an oncoming truck: "Hop--toad! Hop, hop / across that road." What could be a toad-al disaster is luckily avoided because the father and son (and dog) in the truck spot the reckless amphibian in time to stop. They crawl under the truck, locate the toad in question, and set him free: "Hop toad, / off that road." Schmidt's expressive paintings get right down to road--and toad--level, so the perspectives on the approaching red truck and reaching human hands are quite dramatic. Psychedelic desert skies add a surreal touch to this suspenseful, appealingly understated story of tragedy narrowly averted. Karin Snelson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 2 - 5 years
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Harcourt Children's Books (May 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0152163522
  • ISBN-13: 978-0152163525
  • Product Dimensions: 10.3 x 8.4 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #745,776 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Born and raised in New York City, Jane Yolen now lives in Hatfield, Massachusetts. She attended Smith College and received her master's degree in education from the University of Massachusetts. The distinguished author of more than 170 books, Jane Yolen is a person of many talents. When she is not writing, Yolen composes songs, is a professional storyteller on the stage, and is the busy wife of a university professor, the mother of three grown children, and a grandmother. Active in several organizations, Yolen has been on the Board of Directors of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, was president of the Science Fiction Writers of America from 1986 to 1988, is on the editorial board of several magazines, and was a founding member of the Western New England Storytellers Guild, the Western Massachusetts Illustrators Guild, and the Bay State Writers Guild. For twenty years, she ran a monthly writer's workshop for new children's book authors. In 1980, when Yolen was awarded an honorary Doctor of Law degree by Our Lady of the Elms College in Chicopee, Massachusetts, the citation recognized that "throughout her writing career she has remained true to her primary source of inspiration--folk culture." Folklore is the "perfect second skin," writes Yolen. "From under its hide, we can see all the shimmering, shadowy uncertainties of the world." Folklore, she believes, is the universal human language, a language that children instinctively feel in their hearts. All of Yolen's stories and poems are somehow rooted in her sense of family and self. The Emperor and the Kite, which was a Caldecott Honor Book in 1983 for its intricate papercut illustrations by Ed Young, was based on Yolen's relationship with her late father, who was an international kite-flying champion. Owl Moon, winner of the 1988 Caldecott Medal for John Schoenherr's exquisite watercolors, was inspired by her husband's interest in birding. Yolen's graceful rhythms and outrageous rhymes have been gathered in numerous collections. She has earned many awards over the years: the Regina Medal, the Kerlan Award, the World Fantasy Award, the Society of Children's Book Writers Award, the Mythopoetic Society's Aslan Award, the Christopher Medal, the Boy's Club Jr. Book Award, the Garden State Children's Book Award, the Daedalus Award, a number of Parents' Choice Magazine Awards, and many more. Her books and stories have been translated into Japanese, French, Spanish, Chinese, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Afrikaans, !Xhosa, Portuguese, and Braille. With a versatility that has led her to be called "America's Hans Christian Andersen," Yolen, the child of two writers, is a gifted and natural storyteller. Perhaps the best explanation for her outstanding accomplishments comes from Jane Yolen herself: "I don't care whether the story is real or fantastical. I tell the story that needs to be told."

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By ReadItDiva on October 21, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Award-winning author Jane Yolen offers few words (43 total) but plenty of suspense. Hoptoad and his traveling buddies, a skinny lizard and a deceptively speedy tortoise, must scamper across a wide highway to avoid a mammoth red pickup. ("Truck coming. Heavy load. Toad hop. Toad hop!") Karen Lee Schmidt's watercolors loom larger-than-life: reptile scales you can almost touch, dusty desert scenes that almost parch your throat. Ever wonder what the world looks like from a toad's bulging eyes? In a two-page spread you can almost feel Hoptoad's fear as humongous headlights bear down on his quivering body frozen mid-road. Will he make it across? Or will he be flattened into a toad tortilla? Get the book to find out!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Delightful, as Jane Yolen's writing always is. And the illustrations were perfect. (I actually bought this for myself, as I still love picture books.)
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