A FROG IN THE BOG

Karma Wilson, Author, Joan Rankin, Illustrator , illus. by Joan Rankin. S&S/McElderry $16.95 (32p) ISBN 978-0-689-84081-4

This rhyming picture book about an amphibian with a big appetite has as much bounce as its titular character's spring-action legs. The "small, green frog/ on a half-sunk log/ in the middle of a bog" has, apparently, an expandable belly that can keep up with his big eyes and quick tongue. He rapidly ingests "one tick/ as it creeps up a stick," "two fleas/ as they leap through the reeds," and so on, until his wildly bulging form comes to the attention of an alligator—whom the frog had mistaken for the half-sunk log. After a dramatic splash, all the creatures involved get their just deserts. Wilson's (Bear Snores On ) blend of early learning concepts, humor and wordplay make for a jaunty read-aloud. Rankin's (Mrs. McTats and Her Houseful of Cats ) sassy, intricately composed watercolors feature variegated, saturated backgrounds that often look appropriately bog-spattered and sun-dried (even, sometimes, tie-dyed). Throughout, various insects and the frog himself are more crisply rendered, allowing readers to appreciate their comic expressions. Ages 3-7. (Sept.)

Reviewed on: 10/20/2003
Release date: 09/01/2003
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