Sunday 15 February 2009

Book Review

Said Bradley McGogg on one hot summer day, I'm needing a feeding. I'm wasting away!Kirkus Reviews
February 15, 2009

Beiser, Tim
The Very Fine Frog
Illus. by Rachel Berman
Tundra (24 pp.)

Picky eating has rarely been so lauded as it is in this tale of a delicate amphibian diet. Bradley McGogg finds that his cupboard is bare. After much thought upon the matter he sets off to see if his neighbors might spare a bite to eat. Yet to his steadily increasing horror he finds that mice, rabbits, bears and cows prefer to munch disgusting fare. Downtrodden, Bradley returns home to a house overrun with insects. His hunger abated, he is left pondering at the end of his day, "Other folks eat some pretty strange things." Set in rhyme, these verses prove to be quite strong, always scanning perfectly without seeming strained. The watercolor-and-gouache paintings seem a throwback to clothed-animal images of days of yore -- though Potter, for instance would never have dressed Jeremy Fisher in red-and-white striped overalls and sandals. Berman's palette tends to darker hues, which serves the tale well when the story is located in McGogg's bog, but readers may wish the sunlit fields were a little bit more sunny. An amusing tale, indeed. (Picture book. 4-8)

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