The Pros and Cons of Being a Frog – Sue deGennaro


51xsd4tyuvlThe Pros and Cons of Being a Frog – Sue deGennaro, A Paula Wiseman Book (Simon & Schuster), (9781481471305), 2016

Format: Hardcover

Rating: 1- 5 (5 is excellent or a Starred review)  4

Genre:   Picture Book

What did you like about the book? A little boy who wears animal costumes and a little girl, Camille, who is obsessed with math, are best friends despite their differences.  The boy knows that some days Camille talks only in numbers: “So far I’ve worked out that 23 is yes and 17 is no. And when she starts singing her six times tables, I know it’s time for a snack.”  The boy starts the book in a cat costume but is always chased by a dog.  Camille tells him to try another animal and suggests a frog. Since frogs aren’t solitary they decide that Camille should also have a frog costume.  Conflict arises when Camille gets antsy while they are making the costume and the boy shouts “STOP WRIGGLING!”  Camille goes home and the boy is lonely.  He writes a list on graph paper of pros and cons of being a frog. One pro is “Being in a frog costume makes me feel brave,” while one con is “A frog is not a solitary creature, so it’s no fun for a frog if his friends gets up and leaves.”   He finds Camille to apologize and all ends well.  “Camille and I are quite different.  That’s why I like her so much.” The collage illustrations in Conte crayons, pencil and ink on a beige background perfectly complement the story with details.  Camille is surrounded by numbers and graphs, and sketches of frogs are plentiful.  This is a wonderful and whimsical story about friendship.

Anything you didn’t like about it?  No

To whom would you recommend this book?  This is a great addition to books on friendship.  

Who should buy this book?  Public libraries

Where would you shelve it?   Picture books

Should we (librarians/readers) put this at the top of our “to read” piles?   No

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City:  Catherine Coyne, Mansfield Public Library, Mansfield, MA

Date of review: 1/24/17             

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