The Frog and the Boy – by Mao Xiao, illustrated by Wei Chen and Xiaomin Huang

   The Frog and the Boy – by Mao Xiao, illustrated by Wei Chen and Xiaomin Huang and translated by Helen Wang, Candied Plums Publishing, 9781945295157, 2017

Format: Hardcover

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

What did you like about the book? This is a book written in Chinese with English pronunciation above each Chinese character. It is the story of a little boy who meets a frog. They spend a very long time telling each other their similarities. They both have strong thighs. They both have long tongues. When the frog realizes there are a lot of similarities, he takes him home to the Frog King who believes he is his long-lost son, the Prince. At this point the boy tells the king all about the differences between himself and frogs. Eventually the boy goes back to his mother, happy to be a boy and not a frog. The book is translated in English at the back and there are two pages of words and expressions in Chinese with the pronunciation and English translation. The language is simple with a lot of repetition, Candied Plums making it easy for a child to recognize words. I also loved the illustrations. Chinese children will find it refreshing to see a Chinese boy at the center of the story.

Anything you didn’t like about it? I liked everything about this book. When I asked a person from Shanghai about the translations and the English sounds above the characters, she assured me that they were right on. Her one comment was that the accent sounded like a Beijing accent.

To whom would you recommend this book?  Children ages 2-5. It is also an easy reader for children learning Chinese. With immersion schools becoming more popular for the early grades, it is wonderful to see children’s books that can be used in the classroom. It is also important to note that this book is a fun book for children regardless of the bilingual component.

Who should buy this book? Public libraries, elementary school libraries, Chinese immersion classes

Where would you shelve it? Picture books

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Yes

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Sandra Pacheco, ESL teacher Washington, DC.

Date of review: July 30, 2017


This entry was posted in *Starred Review, Bilingual, Book Review and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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