Frog in Love by Max Velthuijs

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Frog in Love by Max Velthuijs

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Category: For Sharing
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Ruth Ng
Reviewed by Ruth Ng
Summary: Love knows no boundaries - a beautiful love story for young and old readers.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 32 Date: January 2015
Publisher: Andersen
ISBN: 9781783441457

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Frog has been feeling a little strange. He finds himself wanting to laugh and cry at the same time, and his heart is beating strangely. Pig declares that Frog must have a cold, but Hare suggests that perhaps Frog is in love. But who can Frog possibly be in love with?

There's a challenge in writing a love story for toddlers to enjoy. Mostly our small fry are introduced to love and marriage through the wholly unrealistic fairy tale romances, where those involved are royal, and marriage proposals come mere moments after meeting! This story, then, feels like a refreshing change. It turns out that Frog is in love with Duck, and even Pig's declaration of a frog can't be in love with a duck. You're green and she's white is ignored because of course Frog doesn't let something so ridiculous as colour put him off! I rather like the gentle introduction of multiculturalism into a children's picture book, and being in a mixed race marriage myself this is a nice story to share with my children.

Frog, a romantic, spends quite some time wooing Duck, though he does so secretly and anonymously since he can't summon up enough courage to actually talk to her! Instead he paints her beautiful pictures, and picks beautiful bouquets of flowers to leave at her door. Duck, meanwhile, is very pleased but puzzled as to who can be sending her all the lovely gifts. Poor old Frog is losing his appetite, unable to sleep and most definitely love-sick! How can he show Duck that he loves her? His grand plan is that he will do something no one else can do and this, he decides, will be to break the world high jump record! He begins his training, jumping higher and higher into the sky until one day Duck is watching him jump along with Pig and Hare. She's worried about him, saying he'll hurt himself jumping so high and, unfortunately she is right.

Poor Frog, he loses his balance in the middle of the highest jump in the world and he falls to the ground. Duck hurries to help him and then nurses him at home. Finally Frog finds the courage to declare his feelings and, happily, they are reciprocated! I love the way the story ends as we are told ever since then, they have loved each other dearly. A frog and a duck...Green and white. Love knows no boundaries.

Frog is an expressive little fellow and although the drawings are simple they are full of emotion and movement. I found myself feeling quite enamoured of the little fellow myself by the end of the story! Everything is easy to follow within the stories, with the pictures supporting the text very well. And although the story is also simple it has some beautiful touches. One of my favourites is the unnecessary timing during Frog's jumping when we are told at thirteen minutes past two on Friday afternoon, things went wrong! It feels delightfully specific, and little touches like that make the story more enjoyable to read aloud.

I think the pictures of Frog jumping might be my favourites, though I also love the final hug between Frog and Duck. This is a lovely story, and delightful to share in a snuggly armchair.

You can read more about Frog in Frog is a Hero

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Buy Frog in Love by Max Velthuijs at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Frog in Love by Max Velthuijs at


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