Booktalking "Frog Song" by Brenda Guiberson

  • by Miranda J. McDermott

    Moisture helps frogs sing, not just the expected ribbit, but also different guttural sounds, such as thrum-rum. Think frogs are boring linguistically? Think again. Frogs and toads say buzz, chirp, bonk, click-clack, tink, plunk, brack, mwaa, and they whistle.

    The strawberry poison dart frog in Costa Rica's rain forest sings a tiny song. Oklahoma's Great Plains narrow-mouthed toad makes a sound like a fly! The Surinam toad from Ecuador is missing a tongue, but it makes a clicking sound.

    On the other side of the world, Australia's scarlet-sided pobblebonk says bonk to the world.

    The male midwife toad in Spain lets out a bell-like utterance. He carries sticky eggs to a hatching place. Darwin's frog in Chile chirps. He also stands watch over a clutch of eggs for three weeks. After they hatch, he lets the froglets hang in his vocal sac for seven weeks. Fish and birds eat some tadpoles, but others survive and blossom into frogs.

    Frog Song by Brenda Guiberson, 2013

    There is a wealth of information in this picture book about different species of frogs and toads. Included in the back is a bibliography and a list of online resources about these amphibians.

    I cannot stress enough how beautiful and realistic these illustrations are. Gennady Spirin is an extraordinary artist. The illustrations are so intricate, dignified, detailed and exquisite.

    I also loved the dedication at the beginning of the book by Guiberson:

    "To those working to restore frogs, frog habitats, and wonderful frog songs."