This imaginative counting book will keep children laughing as a little frog eats his way through a variety of swamp delicacies, including "ONE tick," "TWO fleas," "THREE flies (Oh, my!)," "FOUR slugs," and "FIVE snails." Upon consuming each snack, "the frog grows a little bit bigger." After he has reached massive proportions, he is suddenly startled when the log he has been resting on develops a pair of yellow eyes and wide jaws. He screams "Gator!" opening his own mouth so wide that the creatures he has eaten are able to escape from his crowded stomach. The countdown is from five to one as the frog shrinks back to his normal size. Happily, the gator loses interest and swims away, because "the itty-bitty frog/isn't big enough to chomp." This gastronomic adventure is told in catchy rhyming verse, complemented by soft, dreamy watercolors that perfectly re-create the bog. The illustrations are enhanced by humorous details, including a flea circus set up in the background, the frog's jaunty sun hat, and the expressive faces of the swamp creatures crammed into the frog's belly. Reminiscent of "There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly," this quirky counting book makes a fine companion to similar titles such as Marilyn Singer's Quiet Night (Clarion, 2002) and Eric Carle's The Very Hungry Caterpillar (Philomel, 1969).
Linda L. Walkins, Mount Saint Joseph Academy, Brighton, MA
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