April is National Frog Month: Great Early Readers Non-Fiction Recommendations

~posted by Ruth

FrogThe month of April brings many wonderful causes for celebration.  Including. . (drum roll) National Frog Month!  

There is such a wealth of picture book frog characters we always recommend, from some of the most respected names in children’s literature:  Arnold Lobel (Frog and Toad books), Leo Lionni (It’s MineAn Extraordinary Egg); Irene Livingston (Finklehopper Frog books); David Wiesener (Tuesday).

In addition, this year, we are focusing on lesser-known but equally terrific non-fiction frog books for young readers. Frogs are simply fascinating creatures, and April is a great month to learn more about them.

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Frogs-and-ToadsFrogs, Toads, and Tadpoles, Too by Allan Fowler

This is the perfect picture book as a complement to studying tadpoles  as they morph into frogs. The photos are large, clear, and compelling, and the information intelligently yet simply written.  It’s part of the Rookie Read-About Science Series,  a fine resource for primary classroom curriculum.  Great for early readers, and as a read-aloud for toddlers, too.

*

Nic-BishopFrogs by Nic Bishop

While this picture book is also enhanced by its photos, it’s a very different approach.  In photographer Nic Bishop’s world, we get to see frogs in extreme close-ups.  Bishop knows his stuff, too, with a doctorate in biological science.  He manages to convey interesting and odd facts about the amphibian world in simple accessible text perfect for early readers. A very nice introduction to non-fiction texts, too, with a terrific glossary  and basic index.  Well-written–and entertaining, too!

*

FrogsNational Geographic Reader:  Frogs!  by Elizabeth Carney

Another frog book filled with photos and intriguing facts about frogs.  Pictures of frigs that I have never heard of before, or seen, like the dancing frog who “dances around” because he lives by very noisy waterfalls and needs to warn the other frogs about dangers by his dances.  Or the microfrog that is only as big as a fingernail.  Kids also like the pop out boxes of facts over beautiful photographs and illustrations, instead of just a block of text. Part of the wonderful National Geographic Readers series.  If you like Frogs! you may want to check out Sea Turtles, Lizards or some of the other titles from this collection.

*

Face-to-faceFace to Face with Frogs by Marc Moffett

Yes, it is another photo-illustrated book written by a top-notch science writer.  (Moffett is a tropical ecologist who popularizes his scientific work with the likes of Conan O’Brien and Steven Colbert.) This book is so gorgeous it’s worth having as a coffee table book for adults as well as little ones to read and pore over.  How’s this for fascinating?  A poison dart frog mom is a fantastic parent. She carries a tadpole on her back up a tree and gently deposits it into a bromeliad pool. She takes each of her 20 tadpoles to a different spot. Then she visits each of them once a day to feed them an unfertilized egg — an omelet — until they transform into tiny frogs.  And who can top a review like this?   “This book is gorgeous. I wish I was in it!” –Stephen Colbert of The Colbert Report

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