by Melissa Stewart • illustrated by Higgins Bond
New! • Peachtree Publishers • Ages 4-8
"Frogs make our world a better place. But sometimes people do things that make it hard for them to live and grow." More than just a book about frogs, A PLACE FOR FROGS will open readers' minds to a wide range of environmental issues.
Story: In simple yet informative language, award-winning children's science writer Melissa Stewart introduces readers to some of the ways human action or inaction can affect frog populations. Describing various examples -- from the northern leopard frog in MN ponds to the harlequin frog in the rainforests of Central America -- the text provides an intriguing look at frogs, at the ecosystems that support their survival, and at the efforts of some people to save them.
Kids will love the endpapers featuring maps of where particular frogs live -- plus the author offers readers a list of things they can do in their own communities to help protect these special creatures. After all, frogs have lived on earth for around 200 million years. This beautiful and informative picture book helps children find out what they can do to make sure there is always a place for frogs.
Story behind the story: I asked author Melissa Stewart if she would share a few words with us about the genesis of A Place for Frogs. Here's what she had to say: "Before I wrote a single word, I thought about how educators might use A Place for Frogs in the classroom. The book has two layers of text, so it’s perfect for Reading Buddy programs. Younger students can read the simpler main text. Older students can read the more detailed sidebars. Then the buddies can look at the art and discuss the content together. The structure of the text emphasizes cause and effect—a concept that can be tough for early elementary students to grasp. Maps on the end papers show readers where each featured frog lives. And although the book focuses on things that people—including kids—are doing to protect frogs and their habitats, I made sure that it includes age-appropriate curriculum topics, such as food chains and the frog life cycle. Here’s a fun life cycle song I wrote to go with the book:
Eggs, eggs, tiny eggs
That’s how frogs begin.
In a clump, a slimy clump
Floating with their kin.
Swim, swim, swim-y, swim
That’s what tadpoles do.
Eating algae as they grow,
They really like that goo.
Legs, legs, brand new legs
Froglets hop to shore.
Catching flies all day long,
There’s always plenty more.
Chug, chug, chug-a-rum,
Now they are full grown.
They find a mate and lay more eggs
To start a family of their own."
Plus, I love the name of the author's website: Melissa Stewart's Science Clubhouse. As you'd imagine, it's filled with activities plus a curriculum guide, fun facts and more -- definitely worth a visit.
FYI: all the review copies for this title have been sent; please check back on the "comments" link to read what your colleagues have to say.