________________ CM . . . . Volume IX Number 21 . . . . June 20, 2003

cover Finklehopper Frog.

Irene Livingston. Illustrated by Brian Lies.
Berkley, CA: Tricycle Press (Distributed in Canada by Ten Speed Press), 2002.
24 pp, cloth, $22.95.
ISBN 1-58246-075-2.

Subject Headings:

Kindergarten-grade 3 / Ages 3-8.

Review by Catherine Hoyt.

**** /4


He hippied
and he hoppied
and sang a sweet ker-chog,
until he started wondering,
"Is this the way to jog?"

Now coming down the other way
was Itchy Flea the dog,
and Itchy nearly choked himself
from laughing at the frog!

Finklehopper frog decides to start jogging when he notices that everyone else is doing it. But first he needs a jogging suit, and he selects something wild. "I will buy a jogging suit. I'll get myself a jazzy one, a dandy one, a beaut!" Mrs. Chimpanzee helps him pick out an outfit covered with pink and purple dots, and Finklehopper loves it. As Finklehopper starts out on his jog, he meets "Itchy Flea" the dog and "Yowlereen" the cat who both make fun of his jogging suit and his jogging style. Finklehopper is discouraged, and his feelings are hurt until he meets "Ruby Rabbit" who is also out hopping. Ruby compliments him on his hopping suit. Finklehopper realizes that everyone is different and that's ok. "Oh, Ruby, now I see that everyone has special things to do and say and be."

internal art

     Livingston does a terrific job with her light rhyming text. The words trip off the reader's tongue. This book is a pleasure to read out loud. The author creates an amusing character that kids will love. The illustrator does a fantastic job with his acrylic paint illustrations. I love everything about this book even the comical end pages showing Finklehopper stretching for his jog. The pictures are so vibrant that Finklehopper Frog is leaping off the page. The pictures are full of little details to be discovered, like the glass of water spilt out on the floor in the shape of a webbed frog's foot. The store scene even has signs like "Really Big + Tall" and "Really Short + Small" which has a little turtle browsing the rack with her four baby turtles escaping from the baby carriage. Finklehopper is the main character of this book, but there are many other colourful animals that draw the reader's eye. This is a book that kids will want to read over and over again.

     Finklehopper Frog is a highly recommended purchase for public and school libraries. This title would also make a great gift choice and perfect pick for storytimes. I'll be buying a copy of this book for every kid I know and watching for more titles by this terrific writing and illustrating duo!

Highly Recommended.

As the result of another exciting Northern move, Catherine Hoyt is now living and working in Pond Inlet, Nunavut. She is a volunteer at one of the most northern public libraries in Canada.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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