From Publishers Weekly
Although its conclusion may sit uneasily with guilt-phobic Americans, this Korean folktale is so beguilingly retold and visualized with such individuality that it deserves a wide audience. The ebullient, sensory-overload style of illustration Heo brought to One Afternoon is turned down several notches here, creating a busy, funny, yet delicate backdrop in oil and pencil. The story focuses on two frog brothers who always do the opposite of what their beleaguered mother asks?they even croak backward. Well aware of her sons' contrariness, the mother, dying and wishing to be buried on the sunny side of a hill, tells them, "Please bury me in the shade by the stream." Ironically, this time they obey and bury her by the stream. When it rains, they beg the stream not to wash their mother's grave away, "and ever since then, whenever, it rains, green frogs sit by streams and cry." This is a strong lesson in obedience, but deftly rendered with a light touch. Ages 4-7.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Ages 5^-8. What begins as a cheerful tale of naughtiness based on a Korean folktale (no notes are included) ends with a rather startling surprise. Crisp, exaggerated, rather sophisticated artwork, somewhat reminiscent of Lane Smith's style, depicts a pair of ebullient, contrary frogs, who refuse even to croak correctly. Their long-suffering mother knows that the best way to get them to obey is to request the opposite of what she wants. A problem arises, however, when her sons decide, in deference to their mother's memory, to follow her deathbed instructions to the letter. The story seems somewhat unbalanced--funny at the start, almost gloomy at the close, notwithstanding the legacy the frog children leave behind: "in Korea, children who don't listen to their mother are called chung-gaeguri or green frogs." But the artwork is dynamic--from the initial, lively double-page spreads depicting the antics of the naughty duo to the subdued illustrations of the tearful brothers begging the stream not to wash their mother's grave away. Stephanie Zvirin