Bog frog hop by Kyle Mewburn
Ill. by Rebecca Cool. Little Hare, 2012. ISBN 978 921714 58 0.
Warmly recommended. Picture book. Rhyming story. The black outlined illustrations frame each page as the words are read, either aloud to a group or by oneself, drawing the eye into the picture of ten pollywogs swimming about in the soggy bog. All around the soggy, mossy bog is their home while they wait to become frogs. As each pollywog grows its legs and jumps out onto the mossy log, so the rhyme tells us that there are now nine pollywogs left. Each double page spread tells us of the next pollywog to become a frog and leave its compatriots, until the last page where there are no pollywogs left. A scruffy dog watches the proceedings eager to be part of it.
The action sees the focus of each page move from the pond where the pollywogs are living, to the mossy log where finally ten frogs reside. The bold illustrations will entice the reader into counting the number of pollywogs and frogs, searching for other creatures that live in the bog, reading aloud some of the splendid words used in the rhyme. The sounds of the bog are in bold print, splash, glip, drip, drop, woof, croak and so on, each word redolent of sounds heard and readers will love to sound them out and practice saying them as the book is read. The old Middle English word, 'pollywog', meaning tadpole, will amuse and delight readers, and make a neat starting point to talk about language, or the environment, or rhyming stories. Some classes may be lucky enough to have access to tadpoles and frogs so giving the book an extra resonance.