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lizards, frogs, and polliwogs Hardcover – April 1, 2001

4.6 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

We are mad for poet-painter Douglas Florian. We were buzzed by Insectlopedia, moony for Mammalabilia, and batty for his other beautifully biological, biologically beautiful books as well. We love Florian for his clever, downright shameless wordplay. One of our favorite poems in Lizards, Frogs, and Polliwogs is "The Wood Frog":

I am a frozen frogsicle.
I froze beneath a logsicle.
My mind is in a fogsicle
Inside this icy bogsicle.
My temperature is ten degrees.
I froze my nose, my toes, my knees.
But I don't care, I feel at ease,
For I am full of antifreeze.
Another favorite is "The Polliwogs:"

We polliwoggle.
We polliwiggle.
We shake in lakes,
Make wakes,
And wriggle.
We quiver,
We shiver,
We jiggle,
We jog.
We're yearning
To turn ourselves
Into a frog.
We love Florian equally for his playful paintings that manage to be visual puns as well as suitable-for-framing pieces of art. A subtle and delightful use of color combine with brilliant composition and some collage work to create a marvelous menagerie--this time accompanying 21 reptile and amphibian poems. Neither cobra nor chameleon escape pun-ishment from this talented wordsmith. We will patiently await the next beastly poetic parade from Florian! (Ages 5 to 10) --Karin Snelson

From Publishers Weekly

Like Florian's Insectlopedia and Mammalabilia, this volume contains witty poems filled with comic word play--this time about 21 scaly, slimy creatures. With the droll verbal dexterity of J. Patrick Lewis and the just slightly naughty humor of Jack Prelutsky, Florian regales his readers with unexpected rhymes. "It's wise to stay clear/ Of the dangerous cobra," he warns, "all the months of the year,/ Including Octobra." A picture of a costumed child holding a jack-o'-lantern is accompanied by the verse "I wouldn't wanna/ Be an iguana--/ Except for Halloween." From the Midwife Toad ("On Dad's back the eggs are toted./ To his kids he's toadally devoted") to the Poison-Dart Frogs, Florian finds mischievous reptile lore that will make young readers laugh. At first glance his illustrations seem less varied than in the previous books, but these bug-eyed amphibians have a low-key style of their own. The newt reads the "Newt News" paper, and the Glass Frog camouflaged on a leaf labels various parts of the painting either "me" or "leaf." The medium is different, too: here Florian uses watercolors and collage elements atop brown paper bags. The warm, familiar tones and soft lines belie the idiosyncrasy of the compositions--these frogs and friends don't necessarily jump out at readers, but continually take them by surprise. Ages 5-10.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 - 10 years
  • Grade Level: 1 - 4
  • Hardcover: 56 pages
  • Publisher: Harcourt Children's Books; 1 edition (April 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 015202591X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0152025915
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 0.4 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,402,672 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Douglas Florian is back with another marvelous collection of 21 poems that will charm and amuse the entire family. This time out, he tackles the world of reptiles and amphibians, from those noisy spring peepers to the transparent glass frog to the wall walking gecko. His clever poetry, full of wordplay, puns and even visual fun, is complimented by his creative and inventive artwork, that will mesmerize readers with its wit, color and detail. For all who loved Mr Florian's past collections of Mammalabilia and Insectlopedia, Lizards, Frogs, and Polliwogs is a terrific book you shouldn't miss.
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Format: Hardcover
This book takes an offbeat subject like lizards and makes the subject fun and entertaining, while it also informs. Very much like Jim Cherry's book, Loco for Lizards, a laugh-out-loud funny book that packs an amazing wealth of information in at the same time. Highly recommended!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This delightful book of strange things and clever rhymes is a joy to read. The rhymes are imaginative, instructive, silly and alliterative. This gem is appealing on many levels: the light-hearted poetry, the colorful, whimsical illustrations and nature's gallery of fascinating creatures to stimulate youthful curiosity.

With a granddaughter in the first grade, I am always looking for books that offer attractive illustrations, but also incorporate ideas that lead to an appreciation of words. After reading each poem/page, my granddaughter was soon clamoring to read the rhymes herself: "But did you know that alligators/ Sometimes swallow second graders?"

Suddenly, each page is her favorite, like "The Iguana": "I wouldn't wanna/ Be an iguana_" We choose from the skink, the gecko, the cobra, the Komodo dragon, the box turtle and even the polliwog: "We polliwoggle./ We polliwiggle./ We shake in lakes/ Make wakes/And wriggle." By the time we reach "The Bullfrog", she has lowered her voice to copy the croaking bullfrog. This book is a delight to share with a child, an occasion for tongue-twisting rhymes and giggles. The highest praise I can offer is that I have ordered more of Florian's exceptional work. Luan Gaines/ 2005.
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Format: Hardcover
Florian delights! He's carefully observed the reptiles and amphibians in his book, and the poetry and collages are witty and subtle. This is good for kids and like great animation, terrific for herp-loving adults. --Ae Nash, Director, Colorado Reptile Rescue
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By A Customer on January 18, 2003
Format: Hardcover
My two-year-old son is a *huge* reptile fan, and he loves this book. The playful language is wonderful, and it's an inspiring way to talk and think about different types of animals. It's one of those books that *I* love reading, too!
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Format: Hardcover
This is a book of poems about various reptiles and amphibians. The poems are great; their content is funny and rhythmic. Through the poems we learn about the various animals. The illustrations are very creative collages that are unique compared to most other children's books.

The poems are short and to the point, and his illustrations are extremely creative.

This would make a great read aloud during a unit on poetry or reptiles and anphibians.
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Format: Hardcover
The poems are gross enough for my 5 year old son with illustrations cool enough for my 6 year old daughter and language clever enough for their 40+ yo English teacher mom.
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