Hip-Pocket Papa by Sandra Markle. il by Alan Marks.
Charlesbridge Publishing: Watertown, MA, 2010.

The gorgeous cover is what first attracted me to this book. With a title like a music celebrity's name, I didn't know what to expect from the contents. Looking inside, there is page after page of beautiful nature-related art, mostly frogs in different surroundings.

Seeing that it is a nonfiction book, I didn't expect to like the text as much as I did. Markle addresses the subject by telling the story of this particular frog's days as he protects the eggs, tadpoles, and young frogs until they are ready to explore the world. Also, there are several subjects incorporated in this one short story, a story balanced between the more personal level and scientific description.

I don't know if I would have been quite so interested if the type of frog wasn't unusual, though frogs are different enough to catch any young one's imagination. There are some specific aspects of the hip-pocket frog that lend themselves toward an interesting story. For example, having pockets at the hip for carry babies. I like the similarity with marsupials, though the baby frogs are not interacting with the parent.

I do absolutely love the illustrations. Markle and Marks work perfectly together. As beautiful as the art is, we are not just seeing a frog on a page; each drawing illustrates precisely the thought from the text.

I can see this being a favorite on the shelves of animal and nature loving children.

related-frogs, life cycle of frogs, hip-pocket frog, miniature wildlife habitats, life in the forest floor, nurture and and care of babies, protection from predators
RL=1st-3rd, read aloud with toddlers-1st

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