This time around we checked out a few different books on tadpoles and frogs, only to watch our own poor tadpoles die a few days after their capture. We’re not sure what we did wrong, and now we’re feeling bad that we removed them from their creek without giving them the chance to return there as newly matured frogs. But it helped to read that one mama frog can lay up to 5,000 eggs, so we figure ours likely wouldn’t have made it to maturity anyway. (If any of you have words of wisdom about mistakes to avoid when raising tadpoles, please share. We’d like to try it again if we could avoid feeling like tadpole killers twice over.)
Our favorite frog book, by far, is “A Frog Thing,” by Eric Drachman. It tells the story of Frank, the frog, who is determined to fly even though his parents try to tell him that flying is just not “a frog thing.” A couple of birds help him achieve his dream.—sort of – as repayment for his rescue of one of the bird’s drowning fledglings. By the end though, Frank realizes he’s better off aspiring to be a great swimmer. Owen asks for the story every night.
One of Will’s favorites, meanwhile, is “The Bunyans,” by Audrey Wood, which tells of Paul Bunyan and his gigantic family as their various adventures lead them to carve out or otherwise create everything from Mammoth Cave and Niagra Falls to Big Sur, Bryce Canyon, the Great Sand Dunes and the “Martian Face.” We’ve read it several times over, most recently sitting by the computer with a globe so we could google images of the various national (and extraterrestrial) landmarks and also find them on the map.
In the car (and at home too) Will has been listening to some African folktales on Ashely Bryan's "Beautiful Blackbird and other Folktales" audio CD. I think he's listened to all 6 stories -- 80 minutes worth in total -- a few times over, sometimes in the car and sometimes just sitting on the couch. Bryan does a pretty lively telling of each story. Will especially loves the tale "Why Frog and Snake Never Play Together." Bryan's storytelling makes me chuckle too.
Will was also enthralled with a picture book version of “The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe,” based on the original book by C.S. Lewis and illustrated by Tudor Humphries. Now we're reading the chapter book, which Will finds equally captivating. It helps that he's attending a Narnia-inspired vacation bible school at St. Thomas Episcopal Church this week. Tonight we read a chapter of the book while Will checked a map of Narnia that he brought home from VBS to locate where the characters were in the story. I meanwhile, am reliving my childhood love for this story.
What are some of your children’s favorite reads this summer?