FICTION

Teeny Tiny Toady

illus. by Keika Yamaguchi. 40p. Sterling. 2016. Tr $14.95. ISBN 9781454914549.
COPY ISBN
PreS-Gr 2—On the title page spread, Teeny Tiny Toady and her mama are seen sitting at the edge of a pond. On the next spread, Mama Toad yells, "Teeny! Help!" as a gloved hand plucks her up and places her in a bucket. "Hopping faster than she ever in her tiny life had hopped," Teeny gets her larger brothers to help. Even working together, the seven brothers are unable to tip the bucket. They lash sticks into a ladder and climb up to pull Mama out, but they all fall in, instead. It is up to Teeny to save the day. She makes a kite, climbs the ladder to let her family members grasp the kite string, and watches as they are pulled out of the bucket with a strong gust of wind. The tale is reminiscent of Jane Hissey's Jolly Snow and Oliver Jeffers's How To Catch a Star; however, the rhyming text is tongue-trippingly uneven and neither as lyrical nor descriptive as the language in those titles. The distinctive, digitally rendered artwork presents the toads in gentle earth tones against a woodland backdrop conveying the action and emotion of the story and adding many details. But it can't compensate for the weak text.
VERDICT Not likely to fly off the shelves.

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