Jun 3, 2012

The Adventures of Grandfather Frog

by Thornton W. Burgess 

Grandfather Frog and his cousin old Mr. Toad have a little rivalry going on. Whenever they visit together old Mr. Toad boasts of things he's seen traveling in the wide world, and Grandfather Frog claims that sticking close to home is the best. Finally the toad goads Grandfather Frog enough that he decides to leave his pond and do some traveling himself. All his friends urge him to stay at home but their worries that Grandfather Frog doesn't know how to take care of himself in the wide world only sting his pride and make him more determined to go. Of course he has plenty of mishaps on his adventures, from getting hot and tired away from water so long, to having a frightful scare when the farmer's boy intends to catch him. Even after a narrow escape he still stubbornly continues on and it takes more serious scares that threaten his life before the old frog swallows his pride and goes back to his safe home, very much relieved to be there!

 I think this little book teaches children pretty clearly that the grass is not always greener on the other side of the fence. Others may look like they're better off than you, but different things suit different people and we shouldn't envy what others have but be content with what we've got. It also teaches quite a bit about nature, particularly things about frogs: what they like to eat, how dependent they are on water, their modes of travel, etc. I found it quite an engaging little story that has a lot going on under the surface.

 Rating: 4/5 ....... 96 pages, 1915

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