Frog is a Hero by Max Velthuijs

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Frog is a Hero by Max Velthuijs

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Category: For Sharing
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Ruth Ng
Reviewed by Ruth Ng
Summary: A gentle rescue story with delightful pictures!
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 32 Date: November 2014
Publisher: Andersen
ISBN: 9781783441440

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Always a sucker for a story with a hero, I thoroughly enjoyed this book with Frog as the unlikely hero. It's a very rainy day. At first, the rain, for Frog at least, is lovely and he goes outside dancing. But then it starts to get a little bit too heavy even for him. Worried about how his friends are coping with the adverse weather, Frog decides to go and see them and with everyone's houses leaking, a plan must be formed!

Because Hare lives on slightly higher ground Frog, Duck and Pig all end up staying at Hare's house. For a while everything is lovely and they're warm and cosy and happy together. The rain, however, continues to fall for days and days, and the friends are stuck inside. One day they discover that they are down to their last loaf of bread, and they know that they will die if they don't get help. Here is where Frog, brave Frog, decides to help. He offers to swim across to the hills to get help. His friends are worried - the current is strong and it's much too dangerous, but Frog is determined. I love that as he sets off we read the water was ice cold, but Frog didn't think about it. He thought of Duck and Hare and Pig who were hungry.

Brave Frog swims and swims, but he starts to get into difficulty...will he be okay? Will he manage to get help to his friends or will he drown in his attempts? (I'll give you a clue - since this is aimed at small children you don't have to worry if your little one is of a sensitive disposition. Everything is going to be okay!) The story, throughout, is simple but deftly told. I like it very much, almost as much as I like the pictures. Frog is endearing in his stripey shorts. He is so simply drawn, and yet just that one line for his mouth can express a multitude of emotions. There's a lovely picture of the storm on one page, with a few wind-blown trees, a couple of crows in the sky and the endless rain pelting down. It is instantly recognisable as one of those miserable, endlessly wet days.

I suppose some might quibble with the fact that Frog is the same size as Duck and Pig and Hare, but only if they were feeling particularly picky. Frog's bulging eyes at the sight of the last loaf of bread turn your mind away from any size discrepancies, and the picture where Frog himself is rescued is perhaps my favourite picture of all. The exhaustion on his face reminds me of how I look after a particularly long day with my toddler.

Speaking of toddlers, I have a friend who, when she reads to her little boy, is not allowed to do any scary voices. He doesn't cope well with moments of mild peril, so even for fierce dragons in books, she is forced into a happy singsong voice! I don't think I should recommend this book to her - even though things turn out well, it doesn't look good for Frog for a little while! I, meanwhile, loved the story and most especially Frog's bravery and selflessness. The story requires a little more patience than my two and a half-year-old son has, but it's lovely for older toddlers and those just starting school.

If you're a fan of the wide-mouthed frog joke you might enjoy this: The Wide-Mouthed Frog by Iain Smyth and Michael Terry or there's plenty more silliness with Superfrog! by Michael Foreman. We also loved Frog in Love by Max Velthuijs.

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Buy Frog is a Hero by Max Velthuijs at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Frog is a Hero by Max Velthuijs at


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