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The Mysterious Tadpole Paperback – June 17, 2004


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 3
  • Paperback: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Puffin; Reprint edition (June 17, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0142401404
  • ISBN-13: 978-0142401408
  • Product Dimensions: 11.4 x 9 x 0.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #17,705 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Steven Kellogg's award-winning picture book The Mysterious Tadpole, first published in 1977, is back with wonderful new illustrations and additional "nuances of character, sequence, and plot" in this fabulous 25th-anniversary edition. The story begins when Uncle McAllister brings a "wee bit of Scotland"--a tadpole to be precise--to Louis for his birthday. Delighted, Louis names him Alphonse and brings him to school for show-and-tell. A diet of cheeseburgers allows the creature to grow by leaps and bounds, and he soon outgrows his jar, the kitchen sink, and the bathtub. Finally, when the high school swim team learns of Alphonse's presence in their pool the hard way, Uncle McAllister gets a call: "'Oh, the wee tadpole?' he said. 'Why, he came from the lake nearby. It's the one folks call Loch Ness.'" Louis's ingenuity (he takes on a paper route to pay for his pet's burgers, and that of his friend the librarian (she thinks they can use the aquatic Alphonse to find pirate treasure and use the money to build him his own swimming pool) are heartwarming and hilarious. Children who are attached to a pet will completely relate to Louis's devotion to his unusual new friend. Kellogg's luminous illustrations of the ever-expanding monster and bewildered townspeople are expressive, often hysterical, and full of tiny details that demand many rereadings. A treat! (Ages 4 to 8) --Karin Snelson --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Several reissued titles will be welcomed by fans of their celebrated authors and artists. Louis gets the gift that keeps on giving or growing, rather in The Mysterious Tadpole by Steven Kellogg. The story about a boy and his burgeoning birthday present returns in a 25th-anniversary edition featuring revised text and full-color illustrations. (Aug.)
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

With the same energy, humor and clarity found in his 50 books, David wows audiences at schools around the United States and beyond. David is an accomplished storyteller and a master at getting kids to think and have fun at the same time. His presentations lead children on entertaining and educational journeys that combine math, science, reading and writing. David also gives keynote presentations and workshops for educators at professional conferences.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 34 customer reviews
Great book -- one of our favorites.
M. Heiss
The story is good; the illustrations are excellent.
Robert W. Grant Jr.
A really great book for kids and adults.
Joe

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 18, 2000
Format: Paperback
The Mysterious tadpole is a book at our preschool and it is checked out so often it is diffult to get your hands on it. Boys just love this story of friendship and problem solving. As a mom, I like the values of Louie, who won't give up on his beloved pet / friend Alphonse. I would recommend it to all boys and gils of all ages.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Corbu on April 30, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I loved this book as a child and have loved reading it to my son. He received the 25th Anniversary edition for Christmas and while it's very, very good, it has been rewritten and simply lacks the charm of the original (which I would rate an enthusiastic 5 stars). The story is still wonderful and if this is the only copy you have access to, you won't be disappointed. The original, though, is the best and that's why I have to give this edition 4-stars.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Roz Levine on August 28, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Louis' Uncle McAllister lives in Scotland and every year sends Louis the best birthday present. And this year was no different, a tadpole, Louis names Alphonse. But it soon becomes apparent that Alphonse is not your normal, everyday tadpole and definitely not turning into a frog. He soon outgrows his jar, then the kitchen sink, and bathtub. Louis sneaks him into the school swimming pool during summer vacation, and that works out just fine until fall when school opens. In a panic Louis consults Miss Seevers, the librarian. Librarians always have all the answers, and Miss Seevers doesn't let him down. With a phone call to Scotland, a little research, and a lot of ingenuity, Louis and Miss Severs find a clever solution and happily-ever-after ending to their problem..... First published twenty-five years ago, Steven Kellogg's creative classic, The Mysterious Tadpole, is as fresh and entertaining today as it was back in 1977. Mr Kellogg has given his new illustrations a bold and bright facelift, and tweaked the text a bit, but the engaging and fun-filled story with its hilarious twist at the end, is still sure to capture the imagination and warm your heart. Perfect for youngsters 3-7, The Mysterious Tadpole is a timeless treasure to share with friends and family now, and future generations in the years to come.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Alan R. Holyoak on September 6, 2000
Format: Paperback
I've been a Steven Kellogg fan for a long time, and this is one of the books that won me over.
Imagine being a small boy, say 6 or 7, and having an uncle from Scotland bring you an unusual tadpole for your birthday...then it doesn't turn into a frog!
The Mysterious Tadpole is a fun romp through life with a pet that grows and grows and keeps on growing.
The story is engaging, the illustrations are brilliant, and children and adults both love reading this book.
Give is a try!
5 stars all the way!
Alan Holyoak
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 9, 1998
Format: Paperback
We are second graders from Bernardsville, New Jersey and we think The Mysterious Tadpole is a wonderful fantasy. The delightful illustrations made us laugh and helped tell the story with such detail that the words were almost unnecessary. The very last picture made us wonder if Steven Kellogg will write a sequel to this story. We encourage everyone who likes a good friendship story to read this book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By E. R. Bird HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on May 3, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Everyone in my generation has (or should have) a favorite Steven Kellogg book. I think the kind of Kellogg book you love says a lot about the kind of person you are. For example, I'd probably have my doubts about being stuck in an elevator with anyone who professes a love for Kellogg's "How Much is a Million" books. And as for the person who gravitates towards the "Pinkerton" series, that's the kind of human being I'd be comfortable sharing a cup of cocoa with. Now myself, I'm torn. The vote really falls between Kellogg's fascinating "Island of the Skog" and "The Mysterious Tadpole". Both books are fabulous forgotten classics. But "The Mysterious Tadpole" is better known and perhaps deservedly so.

Louis has just had a birthday, and his eccentric Uncle McAlister has sent him the best present ever. A small lovable tadpole arrives in the mail, and Louis sets about making his new pet at home. Contrary to expectations, however, the tadpole (named, curiously, Alphonse) grows by leaps and bounds. When Louis's parents protest that Alphonse is too large to keep in the home, Louis improvises by placing his pet in the Junior High's swimming pool. But when even that clever plan goes awry, it's up to Louise and the local librarian Miss Seevers to concoct a plan to keep Alphonse happy and free.

Perhaps it was this book, read to me countless times in my youth, that is responsible for me becoming the librarian I am today. Miss Seevers isn't your frumpy hair in a bun, glasses on her nose, shushing librarian either. She's a smart witty woman who helps Louis to save the day. In fact all the characters in this book are imbued with a certain amount of pep and verve. Louis is just the kind of kid who wants to keep his tadpole/loch ness monster safe.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Rachel E. Watkins on May 2, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This story was a favorite of mine as a child, and now I have the oppourtunity to read it to my own kids.
Louis recives a tadpole in a jar for his birthday one year from his eccentric uncle in Scotland, who happens to live near Loch Ness. Louis named his tadpole Alphonse, fed him cheeseburgers, taught him to fetch, do other tricks, and Alphonse becomes a great pet. However, he has grown too big for the apartment in which Louis and his parents live and Louis must think of something to help Alphonse have a place to live or he'll have to go to the zoo!
With the help of the local librarian, and Alphonse, Louis comes up with a plan to raise money to buy the parking lot near his building for a big swiming pool for Alphonse, and all the neighborhood kids to swim and play in.
A happy ending, just in time for Louis's next birthday, and another mysterious present from Uncle McAlister! Great for kids ages four to seven.
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