About the Holiday
Frogs and other amphibians are some of the most threatened species on our planet. Pollution, loss of habitat, climate change, and invasive species are just some of the causes of amphibian extinctions. Save the Frogs Day aims to educated the public and raise awareness of the declining frog and amphibian populations and to promote conservation of their environments to ensure their survival.
I Don’t Want to be a Frog
Written by Dev Petty | Illustrated by Mike Boldt
“I want to be a cat,” a little frog announces to his father. “You can’t be a cat,” his dad answers, which elicits the inevitable “Why not?” from his son. His dad isn’t quite ready for this conversation and gives him the standard “because you’re a frog” response.
Well, it turns out the little frog would rather be almost anything other than what he is. As he rattles off a list of alternatives that he considers much better, his dad warms to the game and counters each of his son’s suggestions with the realities of life (at least their life).
When little frog opines that he’d like to be a rabbit, his dad points out that he doesn’t have long ears. Being a pig seems like an attractive option, but little frog’s dad tells him he doesn’t have a curly tail or eat garbage. His son thinks garbage for dinner sounds okay, but his dad disagrees.
While both son and father believe being an owl would be “the greatest thing ever,” three things are standing in the way: Frogs don’t have wings, they don’t look wise, and they can’t spin their heads around.
So what’s so bad about being a frog? It’s “too wet,” “too slimy,” and there’s “too much bug eating,” little frog complains. Just then a wolf sneaks up on the father-son duo and wants to know why the little guy is so glum. Without turning around to see who he’s talking to, the frog reveals his plight.
Well, says the wolf, I’ll tell you a secret. With glee he explains that he revels in eating cats, rabbits, pigs, and owls. In fact, just talking about it makes him hungry. But “guess the one thing I never eat,” the wolf urges. “Badgers?” guesses the little frog. But no, the answer is “frogs.” And why? Because they are “too wet and slimy and full of bugs.”
Wiser for this fresh perspective, the young frog sends the wolf off with a hearty, “I guess you can’t fight nature. We are what we are. You are a fierce hunter.”
As the wolf walks away all’s well that ends well—except not so much for the creature who next happens upon the scene!
Dev Petty’s sassy-in-a-good-way young frog’s identity crisis is pure fun! The notion of self-acceptance and that each person is built, has talents, and embodies skills just right for who they are is playfully presented by Petty’s sweet father-and-son team. The humorous, escalating dialogue will keep kids laughing, and the surprise ending is a perfect twist.
Mike Boldt’s olive green frogs are a delight as they trade off assurance and skepticism in their life-lesson conversation. The dad, initially mystified by his son’s pronouncements, discusses the issue with patience and genuine curiosity, his eyes registering cunning and understanding behind oversized glasses. His son, wide-eyed and vocal, displays the honesty of children with questions. Boldt’s illustrations of the rabbit, pig, and owl that so captivate the young frog juxtaposed with the father’s objections are comical joy, as are the frogs’ looong legs and expressive faces. And the final scenes with the enlightening wolf, whose head spans two pages, offer more laughs as the father and son resolve their differences.
Adult readers should be prepared—and will be happy—to read I Don’t Want to be a Frog again and again!
Ages 3 – 7
Doubleday Books for Young Readers, 2015 | ISBN 978-0385378666
Save the Frogs Day Activity
Hop Along Matching Game
Hop along now and help these frogs! Each of these fantastic frogs has a twin, but they’ve gotten separated. Can you spot the identical pairs? Print out the Hop Along Matching Game and draw a line between the pairs.
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