Sunday, August 7, 2022

Summery picture books from Candlewick wrap up the lazy-hazy-days-of-summer [Review & Giveaway]

Frog vs. Toad by Ben Mantle

My thoughts: 
This is such a funny, delightful book that involves name-calling, mud-slinging doings down in the woods. The audience grows as frog and toad begin their fitful challenge of ownership over a fly caught by both of them at the same time with their tongues. 

The author uses this verbal and real life mudslinging to teach differences in frogs and toads - their ability to hop high or low, the movement of their eyes, etc. The teaching is achieved in an immensely entertaining way utilizing the mode of storytelling. The lesson is actually hidden in the story.

The main discoverable lesson is that of differences between members of the amphibian reptile group. But the hidden discoverable lesson is that of a society that needs to learn that though there are differences there are also similarities that make us much the same. This provides a good opportunity to gently touch on the differences in races and cultures and how our differences shouldn't drive us apart but how we can appreciate each for their own strengths.

I love the cute illustrations and they help immensely to tell this story. I like particularly how the audience of observers grows with each page turn teaching us that our own actions and performances are observed by a growing audience.

About the book: Two amphibians vie for superiority—before banding together against a toothy foe—in a humorous, light-hearted fable about seeing past differences.

Frog is a frog and Toad is a toad. They are clearly totally different from each other. So when an unlucky fly mistakes Frog and Toad for two frogs, the two are determined to set the record straight. After all, Toad is obviously stronger, while Frog is unmistakably the superior hopper . . . and before long, things start to get a bit heated among the amphibian population in the swamp. But when the two rivals have a close encounter with a snappy alligator, both Frog and Toad see the benefit of joining forces. Perhaps they’re not so different after all? In his authorial debut, author-illustrator Ben Mantle offers a laugh-out-loud look at putting aside differences and celebrating the fact that friends come in all shapes and sizes. (Be sure to enter the giveaway below for a copy of Frog vs. Toad.)

A Day for Sandcastles by JonArno Lawson & illustrated by Qin Leng 

My thoughts: 
Wordless books are great for developing the child's imagination and having them verbalize what they see happening in the story. It does not teach or introduce new words into the vocabulary or develop sentence structure capability. Nor does it allow for introduction of a sense of rhyme and rhythm. What it allows is the blossoming of imagination and individual expression.

 So many personal memories of my own childhood were brought forth with the "reading" of this wordless book. Family visits to the beach are treasured occasions and the family in A Day for Sandcastles is no exception. They have a delightful day of fun, sun, wind, sand, and water. I love the saga of the sandcastle and its literal "ups 'n downs." 

Children will love this book.

About the book: A dazzling wordless picture book celebrates creative problem-solving, teamwork, and the sun-splashed wonder of a day at the beach.
The creators of the acclaimed Over the Shop evoke a perfect summer beach day—and themes of creativity, cooperation, flexibility, and persistence—all without a word in this sun-warmed, salt-stained delight of a story. A busload of beachgoers spills out onto the sand for a day of fun and frolic. Three siblings begin work on a castle, patting and shaping the sand as the sun arcs over the sky. Time and again, their progress is halted: a windswept hat topples their creation; a toddler ambles through it; the tide creeps close, and then too close. Meeting each demolition with fresh determination, the builders outdo themselves time and again, until the moment arrives to pile back into the bus for home. An authentic portrait of sibling cooperation—and glorious inspiration for creative people of all ages—A Day for Sandcastles channels the thrill of surrendering expectations on the path to infinite possibility. 

GIVEAWAY - 2 Winners
"Frog vs. Toad"
Begins August 7
Ends August 30 @ 12:01 a.m. EDT
Open to USA & CANADA addresses only.
Canadian winners must also provide phone number
DISCLOSURE: I received complimentary copies to facilitate a review. Opinions are mine, alone and are freely given. Winners' prizes are provided and shipped directly to the winner by publisher or publicist. Chat With Vera is not responsible for lost or misdirected prizes.


  1. I love wordless books for children because there are so many different stories that can be told with them! Inspires creativity!

  2. I like children's wordless books because they enhance creativity and imagination.

  3. I like wordless books they inspire children of all ages to create their own stories

  4. 1 Please share a "day at the beach" occasion you and/or your family have experienced that brings fond memories back to you. YEARS ago traveled to Barbados. NO beach memories just swimming pool

    2 What do you think of "wordless books" for children? Kids have great imaginations they can tell you a story just looking at the pictures.

  5. Wordless books for children let them come up with their own stories to accompany the illustrations. Also children do not have to speak a specific language to use and enjoy a wordless book.

    allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

  6. My best beach memories was growing up we used to go to a Lake Ontario beach all the time. I love the sand and waves, and playing on air mattresses. Oh and no jelly fishes. Micheline B


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