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Frog and Friends
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Gr 1-3-At first glance this book is a typical easy reader, and children will delight in Frog's adventures with his friends. Masse's bright illustrations reinforce the sweet tone of the three stories. Adults, however, will note a distinct philosophical overlay in each of the episodes. Observing the drooping leaves on their new friend Flower, the animal pals confront her life cycle with sadness, taking comfort at last in the new flower that grows from her seed. Seizing the opportunity to move beyond his pond, Frog flies on Seagull's back and sees a cow and a horse for the first time. He experiences the exhilaration and fear that go hand in hand with stretching one's wings and the joy of returning home. Finally, when Frog suffers insomnia, the communal effort of his friends provides a cure, but the fact that each one offers a unique remedy speaks to the individual contributions made in a time of crisis. Bunting strikes a warm and nostalgic tone in this jewel of a book that is reminiscent of classics like Arnold Lobel's "Frog and Toad" series and Else Homelund Minarik's "Little Bear" books (both HarperCollins).-Gloria Koster, West School, New Canaan, CT (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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