Children’s Book Reviews

Children's Book Review: I Don’t Want to be a Frog

Publish April 22, 2015

I Don’t Want to be a Frog, by first-time American author Dev Petty and Canadian illustrator Mike Boldt, follows the musings of a young frog who thinks life would be better if he were not wet, slimy, and full of bugs. In this tale of gradual self-acceptance, kids eavesdrop on a debate between the frog and his older, matter-of-fact counterpart. “Let me ask you something… If you could be any animal in the world, what would it be? Probably NOT a Frog, right? Exactly.” This spunky statement, positioned on the inner flap, invites readers to consider all the possibilities. The frog considers four: could he be a cat, rabbit, pig, or owl? Boldt depicts each animal with such appeal it’s easy to see why the frog would believe he was missing out! For example, the pig grins and leaps with uncharacteristic agility through the air. The older frog dismisses each option, and Petty’s comical text reflects what even the youngest kids would already be thinking: it would be great to be an owl, but frogs don’t have wings! It takes the appearance of an enormous, hungry, beady-eyed, wolf-like creature to uncover the unique benefit of being wet, slimy, and full of bugs: frogs are the one animal he never eats! Boldt uses coloured speech bubbles with often long, meandering tails to help kids keep track of who is talking when many voices crowd a page. Readers new to and familiar with a comic-book style will enjoy this funny, vibrant book.

I Don’t Want to be a Frog

Dev Petty
Illustration EN: Mike Boldt
Doubleday
ISBN 13: 978-0-385-37866-6

Jen Bailey
Jen Bailey Jen Bailey is an Ontario-certified teacher who holds an MFA in Writing from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. She works for the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council. Jen’s other book reviews have appeared in Quill & Quire and Canadian Children’s Book News.

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