CM . . .
. Volume VIII Number 17 . . . . April 26, 2002
On a glorious, sunny day, Jubal, the bullfrog, sets off to share his picnic lunch with his friends. But Gerdy Toad is too busy working and refereeing squabbles between her mischievous toadlets, and Captain Dalbert Lizard, lamenting his lack of sea adventures, is not in the mood. Resting beneath a daisy, Jubal wishes that he could somehow help his friends out. Suddenly, a wizard appears and grants Jubal his wish. However, things go from bad to worse- even the sunny day is marred by a torrential rainstorm which threatens to sweep Jubal away. Jubal's shouts for help are finally answered by an approaching sailboat with all of his friends on board. As it turns out, his wish has come true after all- the captain is back at the helm, setting sail for adventure, and Gerdy Toad's children, who have volunteered to crew for the captain, are behaving.
This simple, warm story about wishes, dreams and friendship will appeal to very young readers. The main character, Jubal, is particularly endearing as he puts his friends' wishes ahead of his own desires. Though the story is quite basic, the book's strength lies in Don Wood's wonderful illustrations which suit the mood of the text perfectly. The illustrations start out in an almost blinding riot of colour, then switch to muted tones as Jubal's friends bemoan their lot in life. When the wizard appears in the story, the illustrations take on a dreamlike quality, and, during the torrential downpour, the colours darken, the heavy raindrops virtually plopping off the page. A cute (but so-so) story with great illustrations.
Hamilton is a teacher-librarian at Bird's Hill School in East St. Paul,
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