Review: Frog Song by Brenda Z. Guiberson

frog song

Frog Song by Brenda Z. Guiberson, illustrated by Gennady Spirin

This is one breathtaking nonfiction book about frogs.  The book takes a look at various fascinating species from around the world, explaining what makes that species so special.  Delving deeper than skin deep, the strawberry poison dart frog from the cover is celebrated for the unique way she lays her eggs:  five at a time and then when the tadpoles emerge she carries each of them to their own pool of water up in the trees.  Each turn of the page brings another strange and amazing frog with its own unique approach to life.  This is a celebration of frogs that is sure to enthrall any young biologist.

Guiberson has carefully selected frogs that are incredible and unique.  Her writing is filled with frog noises, motion, and even the sounds that whipping a gooey mass of eggs into a ball of bubbles would make.  This adds a certain zing to the writing, making it great fun to read aloud.  You must have your ribbit on to pull this one off.

Spirin’s illustrations are simply amazing.  Filled with more all the great details you would get from a photograph, they are superbly realistic.  Turning the pages shows the breadth of frog life on our planet.  The vitality and also the fragility of these animals is highlighted in her art.

Beautiful, intriguing and great fun to read, this book is an impressive testament to the importance of frogs in our ecosystems.  Appropriate for ages 7-10.

Reviewed from copy received from Henry Holt and Company.

2013 Sydney Taylor Book Awards

The Association of Jewish Libraries has announced the winners and honor books for the 2013 Sydney Taylor Book Awards that go to books for children and teens that authentically portray the Jewish experience.


For Younger Readers

Hannah's Way

Hannah’s Way by Linda Glaser, illustrated by Adam Gustavson


For Older Readers

His Name Was Raoul Wallenberg

His Name Was Raoul Wallenberg by Louise Borden


For Teens


Intentions by Deborah Heiligman



For Younger Readers

Zayde Comes to Live 

Zayde Comes to Live by Sheri Sinykin, illustrated by Kristina Swarner

The Elijah Door: A Passover Tale by Linda Leopold Strauss, illustrated by Alexi Natchev


For Older Readers

The Wooden Sword: A Jewish Folktale from Afghanistan

The Wooden Sword: A Jewish Folktale from Afghanistan by Ann Redisch Stampler, illustrated by Carol Liddiment


For Teen Readers

Beyond Courage: The Untold Story of Jewish Resistance During the Holocaust

Beyond Couraage: The Untold Story of Jewish Resistance during the Holocaust by Doreen Rappaport



For Younger Readers

Sadie and the Big Mountain The Schmutzy Family 

Sadie and the Big Mountain by Jamie Korngold, illustrated by Julie Fortenberry
The Schmutzy Family by Madelyn Rosenberg, illustrated by Paul Meisel

A Song for My Sister Speak Up, Tommy! A Sweet Passover
A Song for My Sister by Lesley Simpson, illustrated by Tatjana Mai-Wyss
Speak Up, Tommy! by Jacqueline Dembar Greene, illustrated by Deborah Melmon
A Sweet Passover by Lesléa Newman, illustrated by David Slonim

For Older Readers

 Looking for Me Sami's Sleepaway Summer

Hereville: How Mirka Met a Meteorite by Barry Deutsch
Looking for Me by Betsy R. Rosenthal
Sami’s Sleepaway Summer by Jenny Myerhoff

Small Medium at Large The Whole Story of Half a Girl
Small Medium at Large by Joanne Levy
Whole Story of Half a Girl by Veera Hiranandani

For Teens

The Last Song Now (Once, #3) Rachel's Secret

The Last Song by Eva Wiseman
Now by Morris Gleitzman
Rachel’s Secret by Shelly Sanders