A Frog's Tale
by Derrick Schofield, Sr. 
Trafford Publishing

"It was a hard and dangerous trek across what the humans call a "street." If you ask me, I say that it should not be there in the first place."

Hand-drawn illustrations boost this simple children's book about how human progress harms wildlife. It's told from the point of view of a frog that finds itself cut off from its pond by a newly constructed highway. The frog and its friends hide in the forest during the road's construction. When at last it seems safe to emerge, the frog discovers that its home is on the other side of the heavily trafficked new route. A harrowing crossing, in which it is almost flattened by passing vehicles, ends happily.

The book deftly makes its intended point that highways are detrimental to frogs and other wild critters. Although this is a picture book, the reading level is more suitable for older elementary school children. The message, too, is suitable for older children who may already know a little bit about habitat loss and related environmental issues. The unconventional binding, which opens vertically like a wall calendar, may be unique enough to catch the eye of young readers. The child-like illustrations may inspire budding young artists to try to draw their own books. Some astute young readers may question why, on the last page of a story which advocates habitat preservation, a wild frog is living in a very human-like way, sleeping on a bed with a framed photo on its bedroom wall. Why is it not floating on a lily pad in the pond it risked life and limb to return to? Ultimately, however, this is a gentle tale conceived, written, and illustrated from the heart. That, alone, makes it a well-worthy read.

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