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Once There Was A Bull...(frog): Adventures in Compound Words (Language Adventures Book) Paperback – March 1, 2011


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Series: Language Adventures Book
  • Paperback: 36 pages
  • Publisher: Gibbs Smith; Rep Rev edition (March 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1423620801
  • ISBN-13: 978-1423620808
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 9 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,471,415 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A good idea never quite gets off the ground in this outing, in which compound words are split for comic surprises. On page one, for example, a picture of a spiraling oxtail is captioned, "Once there was a bull..."; turn the page, and the tail becomes a long pink tongue and the sentence concludes, "...frog who had lost his hop." Bullfrog goes searching for his hop "under a toad... stool" and "in a patch of grass... hoppers," but cannot leap until he encounters a "diamond... back rattlesnake looking for breakfast." Walton's most amusing moment may be Bullfrog's statement, "I'm so hungry I could eat a horse... fly." The story is never more than banal, but could easily lend itself to a high-energy, read-aloud. The book's design is as straightforward as its plot; undulating lines of hand-drawn text caption square paintings of Bullfrog's adventures. Debut illustrator Hally layers what look to be multicolored pastels on a grainy surface, forgoing precise detail for a slightly unconventional, impressionistic effect. Ages 4-8.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

From Booklist

Ages 5^-8. Noteworthy for its clever design, this amusing tale about a bullfrog searching for his lost hop illustrates how art and placement of text can affect a reader's perception of a story. By splitting the compound word at the end of the last line of text on the right-hand page ("He landed hard in a patch of grass ... " ) and strengthening the image with an illustration (a picture of a grassy field), Walton encourages readers to guess what will appear on the following page. But a flip of the page always reveals something quite different from what is expected (grasshoppers leaping into the air). Younger children may need an adult to point out the visual clues, but most kids will quickly catch on to the pattern and enjoy predicting what's to come. In addition to the obvious tie with lessons on compound words, this could be used to inspire students to do some creative writing of their own. Lauren Peterson --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 8, 1999
Format: Paperback
Great concept for a book. My 2 year old daughter loves to finish the second half of the words, and she's so pleased with herself for remembering what each thing turns out to be. I was attracted to the book by its wonderful illustrations and it's western, kind of twangy, look. Excellent book for girls and boys both.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 2, 1998
Format: Paperback
Hedgehogs, ladybugs, and cowboys cross the path of a bullfrog searching for his lost hop in this colorful journey through the Old West, where nothing appears as it seems. The creatively designed tale integrates illustrations and text placement to continuously keep the reader expecting the unexpected. Walton crafts an interactive picture book that encourages readers to guess what will appear on the following page. For instance, he separates the final word in each sentence, such as "He looked under a hedge..." and designs an illustration to accompany the image like a representation of a hedge; yet, a turn of the page reveals a hedgehog sitting in the desert--a surprising completion to the image and compound word! The full-color illustrations use pirmay color shading rather than detail to expound on and compliment the easy flow of the text. The storybook paces itself with a single action per page supported by the clever artisitic impressions. Young readers, as well as young children with parental assistance, quickly catch onto the text pattern, attending to the endless possibilites of what may come next in the bullfrog's search for his hop. This page-turing journey of the bullfrog provides an opportunity for an interactive, high-energy read aloud as a whole class activity or as a shared reading between parent and child.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By J. Toth on May 18, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Calling all elementary teachers looking for a cute book on compound words! This one is great. I've created a work center aound the book where children make a flap book to show each word in a compound word seperately and illustrated then together as one word then illustrated. My first graders love it! You could also make a class book fashioned after this one with other compound words.
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By Kimberly Ertsgaard on June 1, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
While waiting to have my tires rotated a child set his library book down on the chair next to me. I read it. It was fun to read so I ordered it from my iphone before I forgot.
My grandchildren enjoy this story also even though they are too young yet to understand the concept of compound words. The illustrations aren't amazing but colorful and clear enough to make the story still enjoyable.
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More About the Author

Rick Walton first thought of writing for children when his high school English teacher, Joyce Nelson, told him that a story he had written for the class would make a good children's book. But it wasn't until after he had dabbled in business, law, teaching, software design, and almost every other career in the book, he finally realized that writing for kids was one of the few things that he both enjoyed and was good at. Since then Rick has had over ninety books published. His works include picture books, riddle books, activity books, mini-mysteries, a collection of poetry, and educational and game software. His books have been featured on the IRA Children's Choice list, Reading Rainbow, and on CBS This Morning. Rick teaches university courses on picture book writing and on the children's book publishing industry.

You can find out more about Rick at www.rickwalton.com, and at www.rickcreation.com.