Hoptoad book cover

It’s the game of Frogger in a picture book!

Picture book, beginning reader
Interest level: Pre-K through K
3 out of 5 stars

Jane Yolen has a subscription service where every day you can receive a poem that she has written. All that she asks is that you don’t publish any of her poems with out her permission (she does need to make a living!) and that at the end of a month of poems, you either buy or check out one of her books.

For my first month, I decided to select the lesser-known Hoptoad. This is a relatively simple story. A frog is crossing a fairly deserted road when a truck looms in the distance. The reader urges “hop toad, fast, faster,” but the frog has frozen in the middle. Because this book is intended for very young readers, there is of course a happy ending.

The toad starts and ends his journey with two friends — a turtle and a lizard. It is fun to speculate how they got to be friends, and why were they crossing the road? The text is minimal, repetitious, and at a basic beginning reading level. Young readers just beginning to sound out words and tackle reading on their own will be able to access this story.
The illustrations are a good fit for the tone of the text. I especially love hos Schmidt has rendered the clouds in the sky.

Any adult who has ever played the video game Frogger will make a connection with this story. It’s impossible not to!

If you are interested in receiving poems from Yolen, you can sign up here: <a href="http://janeyolen.us11.list-manage1.com/subscribe?u=a0bd30aee37968984ea4490ff&id=27c649c616"http://janeyolen.us11.list-manage1.com/subscribe?u=a0bd30aee37968984ea4490ff&id=27c649c616

by Jane Yolen; illustrated by Karen Lee Schmidt
Silver Whistle, Harcourt, 2003
ISBN 0-15-216352-2

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