Little Frog's Tadpole Trouble by Tatyana Feeney

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Little Frog's Tadpole Trouble by Tatyana Feeney

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Category: For Sharing
Rating: 3/5
Reviewer: Zoe Morris
Reviewed by Zoe Morris
Summary: A brightly coloured short story on the highs and lows of becoming a big sibling.
Buy? Maybe Borrow? Yes
Pages: 32 Date: April 2014
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 978-0192735546

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I’m the little sister. I never had to deal with the threat of an impending arrival to unsettle my world, but I can’t imagine it’s always fun. There are, of course, lots of books on the subject, seeing as it’s a big topic that affects lots of families every day, but here’s a new book on the market. Can it add anything to the existing stack of Becoming a big sibling books?

Little Frog lives quite happily in his family of three, the only child of Mummy and Daddy. Everything is cool until they drop a bombshell: he’s going to be a big froggy brother… to nine baby tadpoles. Little Frog is not amused by this. After all, tadpoles can’t do much really – he’d love to play with them, building towers, skipping, making a band – but they’re too little and too useless. Eugh. What’s even worse is, Mummy and Daddy are too busy with the babies to pay any attention to him anymore. These tadpoles were definitely a Bad Idea.

You can guess what happens. The tadpoles grow into frogs and suddenly Little Frog has lots of new playmates to have adventures with. It just took a bit of patience. While the transition from baby to toddler to pre-schooler isn’t perhaps as obvious as the evolution from frogspawn to tadpole to frog, the message is clear – that babies won’t be babies forever, and soon they’ll be big enough to play with you.

The science of this book is slightly scary – the tadpoles are in a jar in the house, placed under a rotating mobile and being watered by Daddy frog, for example. They swim in the bathtub under Mummy’s supervision. Little Frog sleeps in a bed. Of course you often get humanisation of animals in books, and we’re used to seeing them live in houses, drive cars, and wear clothes, but adding in the aspect of frogspawn and tadpoles confuses this somewhat. I also had questions about how Mummy and Daddy frog had had just one baby froggy to start with, and then ended up with 9 at the second attempt. There must be something in the water.

The colour scheme is… bright. Neon pink and lime green collide in an unusual way, and the relatively pale font on white paper requires good lighting.

The cover claim that Laughter leaps off the page drew me in, but I found it a bit of an exaggeration in the end. I’m in two minds about this book. The pictures are cute but the story seems stacked more towards the tadpoles being a hindrance than anything else, as a lot more pages are dedicated to this side of things, and only a couple to the grown up frog siblings suddenly becoming fun froggy playmates. I thought the book was sweet but perhaps unnecessary in an already saturated market.

Thanks go to the publishers for supplying this book.

Another impending arrival features in Lollipop and Grandpa and the Christmas Baby by Penelope Harper and Cate James

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Buy Little Frog's Tadpole Trouble by Tatyana Feeney at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Little Frog's Tadpole Trouble by Tatyana Feeney at Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy Little Frog's Tadpole Trouble by Tatyana Feeney at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Little Frog's Tadpole Trouble by Tatyana Feeney at


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