A Spoonful of Frogs

Greenwillow. Jul. 2022. 40p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780062890290.
PreS-Gr 1–A very pale, red-nosed witch, clad in burgundy rather than the traditional black, hosts her TV show entitled “Bewitching Kitchen.” Today’s episode involves a demonstration on how to make Frog Soup. Step by step she takes “viewers” through the recipe from placing the cauldron on the fire to attempting to put a frog on a spoon in order to add it to the pot for “a kick of flavor and a pop of color.” At this point in the story, which is told in absolute deadpan but with an underlying and expanding sense of mischief, children will begin laughing at the antics of the poor witch as she attempts to complete the recipe for her audience. Expecting the frog to stay on the spoon is her undoing as she tries to remain professional and keep her cool. Brosgol’s engaging digital illustrations show a fitted-out kitchen with a large stove, hanging pots, drying herbs and jars of unspecified and indeterminate contents. The army of frogs the pink-aproned witch keeps in an aquarium are full of energy and bounce and, though they are trying the woman’s patience, their faces remain serenely calm and innocent.
VERDICT This entertaining tale is a humorous look at how well-laid plans can sometimes go awry, and it will tickle children’s silly bones.

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