May 24, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

A Frog’s Life by Irene Kelly | SLJ Review

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redstarKELLY, Irene. A Frog’s Life. illus. by Margherita Borin. 40p. Holiday House. May 2018. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780823426010.

K-Gr 3 –Kelly, winner of numerous awards for her nature books for children, now introduces the amazing activities that encompass the life of a frog. This picture book uses simple, informative text and detailed illustrations to introduce the many varieties of frog species and their life cycles. (“Baby frogs called tadpoles…emerge with gills to help them breathe in water and tails to help them swim.”) This incredible metamorphosis is illustrated in detail as a tadpole loses its fishy tail and gills and becomes a frog. Kelly peppers the text with unusual facts and bits of scientific trivia (“the golden poison frog is only as big as a paper clip, but the toxin it carries can kill 20,000 mice or 10 people”). Borin has perfectly captured the lives of frogs and their various habitats by creating attractive watercolor illustrations in a design that is reminiscent of an artist’s sketchbook. The detailed drawings will encourage students to look closely as they discover different patterns and textures. Each picture shows a particular species, which Kelly carefully names even as she describes common behaviors. Also included is current information on frog disappearances and conservation efforts to save endangered ones. The simple text and detailed illustrations make this is a fun and informative tour through the exciting amphibian world. VERDICT Perfect for young researchers and a welcome addition to all libraries.–Carole Phillips, Greenacres Elementary School, Scarsdale, NY

This review was published in the School Library Journal May 2018 issue.



  1. Alberto says:

    I had an opportunity to read an ARC of this book and it is quite good.
    I am quite fond of children’s books involving animals. One that I recently read and enjoy is “The Adventure of Thomas the Turtle.”

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