By: Joanne McGonagle
Illustrated by Rachael Mahaffey
Published: May 17, 2013
This is the story of a young toad named Andrew, pondering whether his life would be more interesting had he been hatched a frog. Andrew decides to take his first solo hop to ask his grandpa some questions about what it means to be an amphibian. Along the way he runs into other animals that make him realize a toad's life really is extraordinary.
I was sent this book by the author and right away the title of the book intrigued me. Every one of us, especially children, want to feel extraordinary. But, really, for most of us, we lead ordinary lives, are a part of ordinary families, and live in ordinary communities. But, much like Andrew the toad, we wonder what makes other people so special. Why do they have such pretty hair or blue eyes? Andrew takes us through his feelings as he compares himself to the seemingly special frogs. But, as he learns about his own special qualities, he realizes there are reasons why he is so different from frogs.
I liked how the facts were sprinkled into the story. I certainly learned more about toads and what makes them unique to frogs. I'm not sure I would have known the difference between them before reading this story.
Andrew the toad has a loving Mom and Grandpa who are willing to listen to his questions and concerns. For children who have fears or frustrations this is an opportunity to show them you are there to listen and help.
With "bullying" being at the forefront of news stories and with schools implementing programs to bring more attention to bullying, this story will also resonate with a child who feels "left out" or picked on.
The illustrations throughout each page are delightful. The artist kept each page slightly dark due to the toad's being nocturnal but found ways to include bright spots of color as Andrew travels through the woods. The details on the fox and the expressions she gives each animal jump off the pages.
Due to the length of the story and use of vocabulary, I feel this book is best for children in Kindergarten on up. This would make a great addition to your home, school or community library.
Joanne McGonagle and her cat Gracey
Joanne McGonagle is the award-winning author of the children's book, THE TINIEST TIGER and has since created the website conservationcubclub.com. You can also find more information on Facebook, HERE or follow on Twitter, HERE. Joanne lives in Ohio with Paul and her cat, Gracey.
Rachael Mahaffey is an award-winning freelance artist and illustrator located in Charleston, South Carolina. She specializes in digital art media, but loves to experiment with new art techniques. Her childhood hobby has turned into a career after graduating from the Art Institute in 2003. She loves making author's imaginations come to life. For more, visit HERE.
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