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Tadpole's Promise (Bccb Blue Ribbon Picture Book Awards (Awards)) Hardcover – May 17, 2005


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Hardcover, May 17, 2005
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100%20Children%27s%20Books%20to%20Read%20in%20a%20Lifetime

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Lexile Measure: 400L (What's this?)
  • Series: Bccb Blue Ribbon Picture Book Awards (Awards)
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Atheneum/Anne Schwartz Books (May 17, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0689865244
  • ISBN-13: 978-0689865244
  • Product Dimensions: 10.3 x 8.2 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,387,772 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Starred Review. Kindergarten-Grade 4–Beginning with pages that open vertically instead of horizontally, this tongue-in-cheek tale takes a typical love story and sets it squarely–and amusingly–on end. Ross's vibrantly hued pen-and-ink and watercolor cartoons depict the edge of a pond where a caterpillar and a tadpole meet and fall in love: "She was his beautiful rainbow, and he was her shiny black pearl." Perched on a leaf above the water, she smiles down at her sweetheart and asks him to "Promise you'll never change." Although he agrees, some vows are difficult to keep, and when they next meet, he has sprouted two legs. She forgives him, but after he breaks his promise twice more and now looks more like a frog than her "shiny black pearl," the lovelorn larva ends the affair and cries herself to sleep (sequestered in a cocoon). Meanwhile, the melancholy frog sulks around the pond, making heart-shaped air bubbles that rise to the surface and burst. When the caterpillar awakens, now a butterfly, she decides to forgive her beloved and flies above the water to find him. Without a thought, the frog swallows her whole, and then returns to wondering about whatever happened to his "beautiful rainbow." Willis strikes the perfect balance between the deadpan telling and the humorously overblown dialogue shared by the star-crossed pair, while the artwork masterfully enhances each and every nuance. Enjoy this funny story on its own merits or try using it to lighten up a science lesson.–Joy Fleishhacker, School Library Journal
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Review

"Beginning with pages that open vertically instead of horizontally, this tongue-in-cheek tale takes a typical love story and sets it squarely and amusingly on end. Ross's vibrantly hued pen-and-ink and watercolor cartoons depict the edge of the pond where a caterpillar and a tadpole meet and fall in love. . . Willis strikes the perfect balance between the deadpan telling and the humorously overblown dialogue shared by the star-crossed pair, while the artwork masterfully enhances each and every nuance.'  —School Library Journal


"Breaks the mould in form as well as content."  —Sunday Times --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By MEJ on September 17, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Being that the Editorial Review explains the story in full detail I won't reiterate the ending, which is the crux of this story. I checked this book out from the library because my daughter is very interested in tadpoles and frogs. I must say that I was aghast when I read the ending of this story. Luckily (so I thought) I read it on my own while my daughter was in bed. Being that days earlier we released a monarch butterfly that we had from the caterpillar stage, I figured this was NOT a book for my daughter. I made the mistake of leaving the book out though and she saw it and begged me to read it to her, which I did reluctantly. She LOVED it!! She laughed hysterically at the ending. I was worried that she would be upset, but there sat my 4 year old laughing and laughing, "Read it again, read it again!!" That gave me permission to love the story and the uniqueness of it. I and every other adult that I gave it to thought there would be the happy couple at the happy ending because the caterpillar would see the error of her ways once she changed into a butterfly (ho hum, yawn). Each was just as shocked as I was at the outcome. Every kid we shared it with thought it was soooo funny. Because of the surprise ending, my daughter is very eager to share the book and she delights in the reader's reaction. She gets to experience the surprise over and over through each reader. I find the vertical format to be a clever arrangement for this sky and underwater story. I also like the illustrator's style and feel that he adds to the story with little extras, like a fish chasing some other tadpoles (a bit of foreshadowing) and vice versa. I also like the frog offering the caterpillar a water plant much like a person offering a bouquet of flowers when asking for forgiveness.Read more ›
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Tracy Barrett on August 30, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I can't imagine that children are as fragile as some reviewers believe. This very funny book with great illustrations will traumatize only the faintest of heart while most will find it hilarious. The illustrations enhance the story perfectly and readers will recognize the foolishness of making promises you can't keep.

Oh, and JerseyTomato? You say: "To read the book, you need to hold it open long-ways, so the pages are laid out like a wall calendar. It is not easy to turn the pages. I can't believe the School Library Journal reviewer didn't even mention this." Did you miss the very beginning of the SLJ review: "Beginning with pages that open vertically instead of horizontally"?
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Liz B. on August 3, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Tadpole and Caterpillar meet, fall in love, and promise each other to never change. But time moves forward and sometimes change is inevitable.

This book works for adults, since the issues of love, change, growth, and forgiveness can be debated. It works for teens, who will love the ending. And it works for children, who are will definately "get" and enjoy the ending.

Format: one of the great things about the book is that it uses the book itself as part of the design. So, yes, as pointed out, this books is "sideways", but that is because the "top" part is the air and the "bottom" the water.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Danny Brassell on July 27, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I absolutely love this book and cannot recommend it highly enough for all ages, as it tells the amusing tale of a caterpillar and tadpole who fall in love and promise one another to never change. The caterpillar becomes annoyed when her beloved tadpole develops into a frog, but she goes through some changes of her own. One of the most gratifying endings of any children's book I've read recently, and a useful book for those of us who still try to incorporate a little science into school. A MUST READ! To view this and other cool short book recommendations, visit the Lazy Readers' Book Club at [...]
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By ThisIsForKeeps on July 14, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This book is fabulous. I work at an environmentally-themed camp and shared it with both younger and older children who offered insight and ideas about the ending. I also know that they wouldn't have tolerated yet another mushy story about animals. Maybe kids deserve the real deal every now and then. After all, frogs do eat butterflies and change is inevitable. It's a wonderful book. A book for all seasons.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By just idlin on October 1, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is my 4-year-old daughter's favorite book. She loves to read it with mom or dad and just laugh and laugh at the ending. I found her the other night reciting (from memory) the book while lying in bed.

The illustrations are inviting, with a humorous "side story" evolving (so to speak) in pictures at the bottom of the pages. The writing is concise and flows nicely.

My daughter is a nature lover, and we have always been open with her about the circle of life. This mild and funny book has a twist of an ending that apparently offends parents who prefer to shield their children from the reality of nature. However, [spoiler alert] a watercolor frog eating a watercolor butterfly is hardly graphic and, in fact, in the context of this great book is rather hilarious.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Louise Carlsen on March 1, 2006
Format: Hardcover
The tadpole and the caterpillar are best friends, and promise never to change. The caterpillar is aghast and hurt when the tadpole becomes a frog, and the frog doesn't even recognize his true love when she becomes a beautiful butterfly.

[SPOILER ALERT] But, through a miracle, they realize what has happened and fall in love again...in a deeper, more mature, accepting affection... NOT! The frog gobbles up the butterfly in one happy gulp!

What a relief to see a book that acknowledges that some promises were not ever possible to keep, whatever the good intentions, and how refreshing to see a story about animals that accepts who eats whom. The first time I read it, I was horrified that this book, which cleverly lured me into a little metaphor for relationships, trust, and acceptance so violently jarred me into reality. A few

re-readings and I was in admiration, and then I was laughing.

I believe that kids,

who are a bloodthirsty group in general, will laugh, too.
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