Saturday, July 20, 2013

An Ordinary Toad's Extraordinary Night

An Ordinary Toad's Extraordinary Night on Amazon

ordinary toad's extraordinary night cover
Just as she did with The Tiniest Tiger, Joanne McGonagle has written another book that helps people of all ages understand a little more about the orders and distinctives of nature (especially amphibians in this case) than they previously may have known; even better, she has given us a story that helps all of us of any age celebrate our uniqueness, along with the irreplaceable value each of us has in the world and within creation. The storyline seems too long and complicated for most younger kids of about 4th grade or younger, yet at almost every step along the way, they still can learn a truth or a fact about nature or about themselves that doesn't depend upon grasping the entire narrative from first to final sentence.

Joanne's words and the whimsical though quite realistic pictures place us inside the story of young American Toad Andrew, who, although he is an "ordinary" toad, is not a "common" toad—we can find those many places in Europe. Via Andrew's interactions with his mother and grandfather and with other animals, he learns a lot about himself, and teaches the reader about differences between toads and frogs.

Rachael Mahaffey created the beautiful illustrations that make this just as much a picture book as it is a story book! However, just as with several books for younger readers I've recently reviewed, I very much wish the color palette of An Ordinary Toad's Ordinary Night was brighter and lighter, though I appreciate that the darker, more subdued hues may be closer to actual toad habitat. Also, the format that guides the reader by highlighting all the text inside scrolls is a great touch. Every creature, every human, every aspect of every habitat is important!

my amazon review: Toads, Frogs, Uniqueness, Importance...

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