Monday, November 18, 2013

Frogs! Strange and Wonderful

Author: Laurence Pringle
Illustrator: Meryl Henderson
Publisher: Boyds Mills, 2012
Age Range: Grades K-4
Lexile: 980L
ISBN: 9781590783719

Laurence Pringle's Frogs! Strange and Wonderful begins with an invitation for reader participation with the opening line, "Make a sound like a frog.  Go ahead. Pretend you are a frog and make its sound."  Pringle then explains that many potential responses would be correct, as the many types of frogs make a wide array of sounds.  The book maintains a very kid-friendly, instructional tone throughout, and it is highly informative and quite entertaining.

Frogs is part of a series of books Pringle has written about different types of animals, all with the Strange and Wonderful subtitle.  Other animals he has written about include bats, crows, scorpions, cicadas, snakes, and dinosaurs, among others.  The illustrator for Frogs is Meryl Henderson, and she has painted highly detailed, realistic paintings of numerous kinds of frogs to accompany Pringle's text.  The image shown below is from page 6 in the book, a page that displays some of the variety in the physical appearance of different types of frogs.   

Pages 16 and 17 provide another interactive element to the book.  Henderson has painted a forest scene with eight frogs, each a different species, nearly hidden by camouflage.  An answer key at the back of the book reveals their locations and identifies their species.

In an author's note at the end of the book, Pringle summarizes his "life full of frogs."  He discusses his childhood interest and interactions with frogs and describes the frog habitat he has created on his own property in recent years.  Pringle is not a herpetologist himself, but he did have one read and approve his book before it was published.  The herpetologist made a couple of corrections, which Pringle discusses on his website.

At the back of the book, Pringle informs readers about some groups who are concerned with preserving the habitats of frogs and other wildlife, including the Wildlife Conservation Society and the World Wildlife Fund.  He also recommends websites such as and to learn more about frogs.

Here is a video from National Geographic that shows images of many different types of frogs, as submitted by the magazine's readers.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Andrea! This looks like a nice book, and I really like the 'Frogs in Focus' video you shared as well! As I've explored so many nonfiction books this semester, I've realized that I prefer books with photographs over books with illustrations. Not saying I don't like the titles with illustrations, because so many of them are such high quality illustrations that it's realistic. But I definitely enjoy looking at photographs more. Has anyone else had that thought at all? The page you put up as an example does have very nice detail, and I like that the frogs are all side-by-side. This would be a cool page to use in a compare and contrast activity.