Tad by Benji Davies

Tad by Benji Davies

Tad by Benji Davies (9780062563590)

Tad was a very small tadpole, smaller that all of her tadsiblings. The others warned her that if she couldn’t keep up with them, she would be eaten by Big Blub, the huge nasty fish at the bottom of their pond. So Tad swam twice as hard to keep up with everyone and kept to the shallow parts of the pond. Gradually, the other tadpoles started to change, growing legs and losing their tales. But Tad still had her tail and steadily the other tadpoles disappeared. Eventually, she was the only one still left in the water, hiding from Big Blub. Then one day, Big Blub appeared. Now Tad had one choice, leap out of the water or be eaten!

Davies has written a deep and marvelous picture book about being a late bloomer and then having change thrust upon you. Tad faces her challenges with lots of grit and determination, but eventually that isn’t quite enough as she is left behind by the others. Still, it is her courage that saves her in the end, allowing her to figure out what happened to her siblings after all.

The art here is great, filled with murky pond greens, deep seaweed teals, the blackness around Big Blub, and the moonlit blue of water at night. Tad has a glowing yellow eye, different from her siblings that lets readers find her even in a school of tadpoles.

A grand story sure to make your heart leap. Appropriate for ages 3-5.

Reviewed from e-galley provided by HarperCollins.

Book Review: 999 Tadpoles by Ken Kimura


999 Tadpoles by Ken Kimura, illustrated by Yasunari Murakami

Released May 1, 2011.

999 tadpoles are born in a small pond but when they turn into frogs, they completely run out of room to even breathe!  So mother and father frog decide they must find a new home to live in.  All of the 999 tadpoles follow their father across a big field.  He warns them about the dangers of snakes, just a moment before the little frogs come dragging a sleepy snake up to him.  They escape that danger, but don’t notice the hawk circling above them.  Down comes the hawk and grabs the father frog in his talons.  But when he flies up into the sky again, it is not just the father frog that comes along for the ride, but all of the frog family.  It’s a much heavier load than the hawk can manage, but what will happen if the frogs are dropped?

Kimura has written a book is a friendly, conversational style that is a pleasure to read aloud.  The voices of the little frogs and their parents are clear and individual.  Get ready to speak in more than one froggy voice for this book!  Kimura has also built plenty of action into his story which has adventure and dangers that will keep children’s attention.

Murakami’s illustrations create a very unique feel to the book.  Using white space to great effect, the polished yet simple illustrations have a graphic appeal to them.  With so many of the illustrations being shown from the overhead perspective, the humor of the number of little frogs is never lost. 

A book about tadpoles and frogs that focuses on fun, family, and humor.  Appropriate for ages 4-6.

Reviewed from copy received from NorthSouth Books.

Also reviewed by Kids Book Review.