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10 Little Frogs Paperback – March 21, 2021
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- ASIN : B08ZH8RLS8
- Publisher : Independently published (March 21, 2021)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 26 pages
- ISBN-13 : 979-8720143657
- Item Weight : 4.2 ounces
- Dimensions : 8.5 x 0.07 x 11 inches
- Customer Reviews:
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By Amanda Kalk on March 31, 2021
This is the premise of this delightful homage to the “10 Little…” stories on which so many of us grew up. They combine repetition (which allows for reader participation), math, fun adventures, and a little bit of mystery—all core elements of the best books for children.
What I love most about 10 Little Frogs is that it lends itself to creative dramatics, a subfield of theatre focusing on bringing books to life with young audiences. As a creative dramatist for the past thirty years, this is exactly the kind of book that I love. One by one, as the frogs leave their log to live their wish, the audience—through the full-paged illustrations about which I will talk more soon—gets to see a different adventure or bit of creative expression. There is outdoor adventure (swimming, dog-walking, snake rodeo-riding, picnicking, sky diving, rose-smelling), creative arts (singing, baking, red-carpeting), and spiritual pursuits (gong-banging).
I hope that some of these descriptions peaked your attention, because the wishes are diverse and fun, and it will be interesting for you to see with which adventures your children, students, and other readers most identify.
Before I get into some ideas about creative dramatics with this book, I want to bring attention to the wonderful illustrations. More and more academic studies are showing that illustrations in children’s books are their initial introduction to art, so composition, color, and discerning story from the elements in the frame are all important in learning to navigate and decode visual space. Shawn M Travis (the author’s brother) gives us a lot to love and explore, from the opening illustration of the frog personas of the author and his daughter, to whom the book is dedicated. As each frog enjoys their adventure, there are recurring elements as well as adventure-specific ones. There is a traveling turtle in each (never named in the book, which creates the opportunity to incorporate this character into the story however readers wish), and interesting elements you might not expect. There are grey (well… green) aliens and a flying saucer, a mermaid, a blind squirrel with a walking stick, a Tibetan monk, a unicorn, Bigfoot, a flying dragon, and a leprechaun. The elements of the illustrations that relate to the adventures themselves are witty and wonderful—Frog Sinatra sings, the baker makes a Funfetti cake complete with flies, and the red-carpet walker is at the premiere of 10 Little Frogs the Movie!
So… creative dramatics. I like to do a “day in the life” game where a place and activity are the basis for a group improvisation, with talking or without. Any and all of these ten adventures would work well for this activity. 10 Little Frogs is perfect reading for a trip to the park, the woods, the playing field, or the backyard, where you can interact with nature as many of the frogs do. The reader can also make their own wish and explore, through words and drawings, what their own activity would look like as part of this book. The visual elements I mentioned above also provide ample “what if” moments for improvisational storytelling: What if the aliens took the frog up in their spacecraft? What if the frog decided to ride the unicorn after riding the snake. What if the baker baked the pies eaten in the picnic? I am sure you get the idea.
The author has also provided opportunities within the world of the book to carry on the adventures off the log. The frogs do not just return satisfied and content. They talk about what they experienced with each other! And, as they go to sleep that night, they wonder about what new adventures lie ahead.
This is an opportunity to introduce the importance of story to young readers—telling your own and listening to others’.
10 Little Frogs is a book you will want to return to many times. Each time, young readers will remember more of the core story and take a more active role in the exploration and reading. I can also say with confidence that they will also think and talk more about what adventures in life, big and small, they are most interested in having and why.
10 Little Frogs by Jason Travis is an updated take on the old classic Frogs on a Log. This version is adorable. It was easy to make up a little song to sing while reading. I enjoyed it a lot, and I can’t wait to share it with the small people in my life.
Travis’s frogs sit on a log when a magic meteor flies overhead. Each frog makes a wish that comes true. I love that the frogs’ wishes took on a different look for each frog. We have a swimming frog, a frog who rides snakes in a snake rodeo, and even a frog who skydives after a fly.
I had so much fun trying to guess what each frog’s wish was. The frogs all look different, and their appearance is a tiny hint of what their wish is. I adore the originality of the different frog characters.
We certainly can’t forget the illustrations. The pictures are wonderful. I love how each page has a little Easter egg from previous pages. The little squirrel and the turtle with his pack show up on most pages in some form or another. Sometimes you have to look for them, but they are there. I think my favorite illustration is the little frog walking her dog. But Frog Sinatra is also a favorite.
I am happy to award 10 Little Frogs a full 5 out of 5 stars. This little book is so sweet. Kids of any age will love it.
Kids love to play make believe and they will enjoy seeing what each of the little green jumpers gets up to, whether it is baking a cake (decorative flies included), smelling a flower, or singing a song. The small amount of text on each page along wth rhyming prose will make it easy for pre- and early readers to enjoy this book.
The true draw for this story, if you will excuse the pun, is the artwork taking up each full page. Colorful eye popping illustrations filled with tiny detail that will keep kids engaged with the story and provide a chance for parental collaboration as together they can search for the squirrel and turtle friends in every escapade. There are also easter egg style details for attentive observers to find such as Big Foot, a unicorn, and even a dragon.
This is solid debut for the Travis Brothers.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5.
I received an advance review copy for free from Blackberry Book Tours, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.