Science Comics: Frogs: Awesome Amphibians

First Second. (Science Comics). Oct. 2023. 128p.  $21.99. ISBN 9781250268853. pap. $12.99. ISBN 9781250268860.
Gr 3-8–Frogs are fascinating, frogs are phenomenal. Frogs are truly wonders of evolution, and the publisher’s latest addition to the popular, plentiful “Science Comics” series dives headlong into exploring this amazing amphibian. Readers’ proxy in this investigation is Fran, a kid recently relocated to a rural area from the big city who, when urged to explore by her dad, discovers a pond containing a slightly snarky tadpole who swiftly whisks her away to Amphibian Academy. There, Professor Sal A. Mander highlights the commonalities between Anura (the order comprised of frogs and toads), and other amphibians—primarily semipermeable skin and unique respiratory systems. From there, frogs become the focus: their metamorphosis from egg to adult; modes of communication (croak-based and otherwise); and environmental adaptations, such as wood frogs transforming into frogsicles and poisonous frogs signaling their inedibility through aposematism. Prince’s illustrations are a perfect mix of colorfully cute—including visions of a rainbow of petite poisonous pals—and surprisingly precise, with detailed anatomical diagrams galore. The greatest strength of the comic is its commitment to illustrating broader points about amphibious animals with pinpointed examples of species differentiation, which will awe readers in their dizzying variety.
VERDICT Prince’s devoted investigation of frogs and toads offers effortless education for readers of all ages and levels of interest, poised to make an Anura aficionado of every reader.

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