Monday, January 30, 2017

The Queen of Frogs - a review

The Queen of Frogs

by Davide Cali with illustrations by Marco Soma
Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, 2017


If you have seen the popular South African movie, The Gods Must Be Crazy (1980, 20th Century Fox), then you will understand the premise of this delightfully illustrated cautionary tale of a colony of frogs who suddenly discover a crown. If you have not, I will suggest that queen in question has the desire and ambition of "Yertle the Turtle" (from Yertle the Turtle and Other Stories) and the clueless bravado of the infamous emperor in "The Emperor's New Clothes." Turnabout is fair play is exhibited in the book's humorous ending with a twist.

The illustrations appear to be a combination of pencil sketches painted with the muted earth tones of a frog bog. The anthropomorphic frogs cavort with great expression. Humorous details include frogs fishing with spools of thread for reels and a Venus Flytraps as bait. The frogs fish up, of course, as the target catch are flies! A bottle cap can also be spotted as the official seal on the the royal spokesman's podium.

The Queen of Frogs was first published in Portugal. My copy was courtesy of LibraryThing's Early Reviewers Program. I highly recommend it as a read-aloud for older listeners or a read alone for elementary school students.

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