Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Book Review: The Pros and Cons of Being a Frog

It was 'Book Week' last week.  In the week or two leading up our library teacher read the shortlisted early childhood picture books to the lower Primary students so I got a bird's-eye insight into the books on the list this year.

Sue deGennaro's "The Pros and Cons of Being a Frog" is a heartwarming, charming  book about friendship and the up's and down's of children's relationships.  The characters are engaging - a boy (we think!) who likes to dress up as animals, and his friend Camille who loves numbers so much she uses them to speak in code.  These two unlikely mates find a way to embrace their differences and enjoy one another's company.  Until the day when Froggy yells at Camille.  It is then he realises that "frogs are not solitary creatures", and neither is he.  All is not well in his world when Camille is not his constant companion.

The author beautifully demonstrates the realities of children's friendships.  Cross words and hurt feelings are inevitable.  Yet deGennaro reminds young readers that it's not just the recipient of the cross words that lose out in these moments, and relationships can indeed be mended.

What can I say?  I loved this story immediately.  So much so I had to order it for myself.  My own copy now sits happily on my own shelf ready for days when I think numbers are cool or I need to be reminded that one of my animal-loving students needs to be appreciated for all his quirks.  Frogs are pretty cute!

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