Publisher Synopsis: "A group of frogs are living happily in a peaceful pond, until they discover a surprise visitor: a little pink pig. Sitting contentedly on a rock in the middle of their pond, the pig opens his mouth and says: RIBBIT! The frogs are bewildered at first, and then a bit annoyed—"What did that little pig just say?", "Does he think he's a frog?", "Is he making fun of us?"
Soon the pig draws the attention of all the nearby animals; everyone is curious to know what he wants! After much guessing (and shouting) and a visit to the wise old beetle, the animals realize that perhaps the pig was not there to mock them afterall—maybe he just wanted to make new friends! But is it too late? "
My Thoughts: In a world filled with computer generated picture book illustrations, I am always enamored with picture books that still use hand drawn illustrations. Ribbit's watercolor images are really the "bang" in this book. While the story of the confident pig who is looking for some new friends has a strong, and happily non-didactic, message, the illustrations create a mood that adds depth to a middling story.
Ribbit does make for a great preschool read aloud with a "ribbit" placed perfectly for choral response. The frog's questionings will assist young learners with critical thought. In the end, Ribbit is a statement on friendship, acceptance and confidence uttered through one word (well, two really), a story both subtle and transparent. Young listeners will love the ending; it's a "tweet."
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Age: 2 and up
Themes: friendship, confidence/being yourself, acceptance
Character Development: The frogs learn a good lesson about acceptance
Plot Engagement: Great for young pre-K, probably not so much after 5
Thank You to Edelweiss & the publisher for my advanced ebook
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers
Date: May 2013
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© 2007-2013 Cheryl Vanatti for www.ReadingRumpus.