Picture Book Reading for Vacation Days
Review by Colleen Mondor
Bradley McGogg: The Very Fine Frog is one of those sweet old fashioned stories that features funny animals in odd situations echoing all the good things of Wind in the Willows and Peter Rabbit and every other similar past tale. Author Tim Beiser has written a rhyming text that explains the trials and tribulations of hungry Bradley who goes visiting his friends in search of a decent meal. Illustrator Rachel Berman uses rich color in her realistic paintings of animals at work and play who are dressed in fine clothing (the rabbit wears sneakers, even) and draw the reader into their creative environments. (Bradley sits on a stack of cookbooks. Herr Bear and Herr Hare are shown enjoying a meal of honey and carrots over a complete tea set and later there is a candelabra illuminating a meal of "maggots, mosquitoes, grasshoppers and snails" for our favorite frogs.) The message here is that everyone eats something different and what is good for one will likely be unappetizing for another. Poor Bradley would like to be a mooch but just can't bring himself to eat what everyone else is serving. The story has a happy ending that the rolling text will have lulled readers into expecting. Bradley is a kick in the pants; here's hoping this is not his only adventure.