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4.0 out of 5 starsNot bad, but not a favorite, nice artwork
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on July 10, 2012
We have had some Frog and Friends books from the library before and liked them, I actually think we liked the ones from the library better than this. The artwork is nice, but the stories aren't as enthralling. The first one I thought the girls (just past five years old now) would like since it is all about bats and they love bats, but there wasn't a story, just an exchange of information which the girls already knew. This was fine with the girls, they still liked it, but since they are not reading on their own yet I am the one reading it and I thought it was cut but dry. The next story was okay, at least it had plot, and the message as about being alone, again the girls didn't mind it. The last story was a little weird, about the starman giving away stars (they stay in the sky though), the girls didn't mind it but didn't get too into it either. Four stars seemed about right, we liked, didn't love it, but liked it, it will make nice addition to a young reading library for the girls when they start reading on their own in a year or less and I am sure once they are reading this book by themselves it will seem much more exciting :)
Are frogs particularly gregarious animals? They seem to be the living embodiment of friendship in many kids books. There's the legendary FROG AND TOAD stories, and now another friendly frog brightens up your kids' reading in Eve Bunting's FROG AND FRIENDS: BEST SUMMER EVER.
This is an ideal book for new readers and those transitioning into reading. It's about halfway between the books for very, very young readers with one or two sentences on each page (e.g., most of Mo Willems' excellent work) and full-on chapter books, with ample illustration to keep the kids' attention and provide some context cues.
There are three stories here, and each focuses on one element of the eponymous frog's friendship with others. The first is about diversity, and manages to communicate the fact that it's OK to be friends with people who are different from you without being overtly preachy. We meet Frog and his friend, Little Brown Bat, who is very different from Frog, but they find plenty to do together anyway, like him impressing her with his long sticky tongue. I don't think I ever expected to read the sentence, "That is a very handsome tongue" aloud, but thanks to this book, I now have--several times. An allusion is made late in the story to Frog's other friends, who are basically other wild animals. Intriguingly, Hoppo is given "part-time friend" status.
In the next story, we meet those friends. Frog needs and change and wants a vacation, and ultimately all of his friends come with him, meaning he doesn't get much of a vacation at all. Still, he says it's the best vacation ever, and is energized to return to his usual routine of sitting on his napping rock and catching flies.
In the last story, Frog is visited by a man in a long black coat and a black cape who, unfortunately, looks nothing like Vincent Price (I just thought that would be pretty cool, and it would give me an excuse to try a Vincent Price voice while reading. He gives Frog and his friends stars, which they gain a new appreciation for. Again, most of the crew is involved, including Jumping Mouse, who doesn't do much jumping. Rabbit is on maternity leave and stays home. It's a cute way to get little ones thinking about astronomy.
All in all, this is a great book, whether you are reading it to your kids or they are reading it to you, with wonderful illustrations by Josee Masse. Highly recommended.
5.0 out of 5 starsa fine book for young children with outstanding illustrations
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on June 29, 2012
Eve Bunting has written a sweet and useful book of 3 short stories for young children in grades 1 and 2. Of course, some children in kindergarten may also appreciate this book especially if it is read aloud to them; in any event both you and your children are bound to like the excellent illustrations by Josée Masse!
While there are 3 stories in this book, there will be children who like all of them, 2 of them or perhaps just 1 of them. That's neither here nor there; it depends on which parts of the book the child simply happens to like. The 1st story is actually more of a conversation than a true story; we read about a frog and a bat that make comparisons and contrasts between themselves. It's a great way for a young child to start to understand that animals have similarities and differences; the concept of similarities and differences is introduced in an age-appropriate way. The 2nd story is a tale of a frog who wants to go alone on a vacation because (he) "wanted quiet. And thinking time." Unfortunately for the frog, quite a few other animals simply assume they can join him on his vacation; and "Frog" is too polite to say no! The story has a happy ending for the frog, however. The 3rd and final part of the book is a charming tale of a "Starman" who, in his own way, gives away the stars in the skies to "Frog" and his friends including "Possum" and "Rabbit."
Overall, this is a good book to use to get a young child in grades 1 or 2 interested in reading and learning important concepts like similarities and differences; the importance of being with friends yet wanting quite time alone for reflective thought and the sweet and innocent beauty of nature's stars up in the sky. I highly recommend this book especially for 1st and 2nd graders.
Eve Bunting's "Frog and Friends: Best Summer Ever" is a beginner's chapter book. There are three stories within this book, each with their own little story about Frog and one or more of his friends - brown bat, raccoon, squirrel, possum, chameleon, little jumping mouse and rabbit and her new babies. The stories are sweet, with an embedded social commentary ~ like how different and how alike each of us are when compared to our friends and how do these differences and likenesses impact our friendship. The pictures are engaging and delightful. The wording is good for the independent reader and comfortably challenging for the beginning reader. Even a toddler can enjoy the stories when being read to.
Although it can stand on it's own, "Frog and Friends: Best Summer Ever" is the last of a three book series ~ "Frog and Friends" and "Frog and Friends: Party at the Pond" are the two other books in the series and you will want to have all three.
Seeing Eve Bunting's name on this book assured me that these stories would feature quality writing and gentle stories. I was not disappointed. This entry into the Frog and Friends series features 3 very different stories: 1--Frog and Little Brown Bat is mostly dialogue with a theme of "we are the same and not the same". It celebrates the differences that 2 friends have and is the most educational of the stories. 2--Frog Takes a Vacation has Frog trying to get away to think, while everyone else decides that they want to come along too. This story has the most humor 3--Frog and Starman introduces a Starman who gives away stars (though they stay in the sky). This is the bedtime story.
This book is listed at a Grade Level 1-2, Guided Reading Level K (which is early 2nd grade level), Lexile Measure 290L, RR Level 18, and ATOS Reading Level 2.1. It has a word count of 1,516. There was some unusual vocabulary, "wafted," and a French phrase, "Au revoir" that made this a little challenging, but most of the language will be familiar to kids who have completed 1st grade. My rising 2nd grader can read the whole book. My Kindergartener can read many of the words and enjoys looking at the pictures.
I love the rich greens and blues of the illustrations and the touches of humor and gentleness that show up in the illustrator's depictions of the characters.
My kids liked the "Vacation" story the best, because it's funny. They also liked the "Starman". They didn't like the "Bat" story as well because of all the dialogue. But they did enjoy this book and will look at it on their own.
5.0 out of 5 starsThird Book in an Early Reader Series
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on June 21, 2012
The "Early Reader," "Beginning Reader" or "Easy Reader" books were developed in the late 50's. Else Holmelund Minarik's Little Bear was one of the first beginning readers. These books tend to contain three or four very short stories with simple plots. Author/illustrator Arnold Lobel is well known for his beginning readers including the Frog and Toad series, Owl at Home, Mouse Soup and more.
These days many children's publishers have beginning reader imprints such as "I Can Read" or "Ready, Set, Read." The publisher of Frog and Friends, Sleeping Bear Press, has "I Am a Reader!"
The stories in Best Summer Ever are well-written. The language doesn't feel limited or simplified. The illustrations are fun and breezy and compliment the style of the writing. Parents will be glad to find a letter printed on the inside cover that explains a little about the different levels of reading that children in the target age may be in. A web address is included for the publisher's site where reading skills tips and activities can be found.
On the back of the book there's a guide that lists the book's standing as far as recommended grade level, lexile level, guided reading level, etc.
Frog and Friends: Best Summer Ever is a great addition to any beginning reader's library.
Part of the "I am a Reader" Book Series, there are 4 books about Frog, and 4 about Tugg and Teeny. In the Frog series, Frog and his friends Rabbit, Possum, Raccoon and Squirrel explore the world, solve problems and support each other in each set of stories. The reading is aimed at kids aged Kindergarten and Up.
My 5 yr old daughter really enjoyed the book, and is eager to get the rest of the series. I was really amazed at how well she grasped the meanings behind each story and told them to me, before I could ask her at the end of each story! Her favorite tale was "Starman" and loved that stars could be 'given', yet remain in place, to shine upon us all. She also thought Frog was very patient, when everyone decided to go on his 'time alone' vacation with him!
My daughter loved the illustrations and as you can see they are very sweet. This is a great early reader series, and i will be getting kiddo the rest of the books, as they are great at teaching early reading AND manners! A 2 for 1 bonus! Check them out and you will agree!
Eve Bunting is an incredibly talented and versatile children's writer, and now she brings her talents to the beginning reader genre. Much like classic beginning readers such as Lobel's Frog and Toad series, this book is a collection of three separate yet related stories, each about the right length for a beginning reader to read aloud or independently. And like other high quality beginning readers, the book makes a nice read-aloud for younger children as well. This book is the third in a series about Frog and his friends, although no need to read them in order. The stories feature a gentle sense of humor and involve Frog and his different friends, including a bat, raccoon, rabbit, squirrel and mouse. In the stories, Frog and Bat discuss how they are different yet alike, Frog takes a vacation, in which he wants to be alone, but all his friends tag along, and finally, Frog is visited by Starman, who gives away stars to Frog and all his friends. Highly recommended.
5.0 out of 5 starsConnecting with Others and the Other
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on June 16, 2012
Divided into 3 chapters, Frog and Little Brown Bat, Frog Takes a Vacation, and Frog and Starman, Frog and Friends is about a frog who learns to socialize, connecting with others based on appreciating both similarities and differences. This lesson is done in chapter 1 in which frog meets the little brown bat and forges a friendship.
With the bat friendship as a foundation, frog develops a hunger a curiosity to meet new friends and new worlds and thus goes on a vacation befriending a diversity of animals.
The final chapter chronicles the frog's friendship with a mysterious human, the Starman, a man who gives away stars and seems to represent mystery and otherness. With bright, cheery illustrations, these stories are quick-paced and never preachy. The characters are likable and well detailed.
comparisons to the arnold lobell 'frog and toad' series are a given since this book is entitled 'frog and friends'. my 1st grade boys adored the classic frog and toad series, with its the simple language that beautifully depicts their charming and loving friendship. they adored this book, which is comprised of 3 short stories. the reading level seems to be at the late kindergarten to mid-first grade level (e.g., "frog sat on his rock. it was nighttime and cold but he was wearing his blue scarf. raccoon had stopped by earlier to tie it on for him. he always needed help to tie his scarf). this book was an easy, enjoyable read for my boys, and i'm looking forward to finding more books in this series.