Saturday, January 25, 2020

Review: Froggy Builds a Snowman by Jonathan London & Frank Remkiewics (Illustrator)

Froggy Builds a Snowman
by Jonathan London
Illustrator Frank Remkiewicz
Release Date: January 7th 2020
2020 Viking Books for Young Readers
ARC Edition; 32 Pages
ISBN: 978-1984836366
Genre: Children / Picture Book
Source: Review copy from publisher

3 / 5 Stars

It's Winter Carnival day, and Froggy can't wait to build a snowman. But school principal Mr. Mugwort says there is a lot to do first. Skating! Sledding! A snow fort! Finally it's time to build a snowman, but Froggy builds a snow dinosaur instead. And of course the day wouldn't be complete without a wild snowball fight. 

My Thoughts
Froggy Builds a Snowman is a sentimental read for me as it reminds of the time when my kids were little and I would read them these books over and over again, and I think because I have one in university and another going next year, I am feeling a little sentimental so I am going through a phase where I am reading a lot of children's books and getting a lot of pleasure doing so.  The Froggy books were always a favourite series for my kids and by looking at the attractive bright colours and simple text, as a parent, you can definitely see the appeal.

First of all, the illustrations. I have always liked the illustrations in these books.  They are bright, eye-catching and fun.  I have never been a fan of children's books that are overwhelming, with so much going on that a child gets frustrated just looking at a page.  Don't get me wrong, there is a lot of value in those books and illustrations and as an adult, I love them, but for a child? Not so much.  There is so much to discuss through the illustrations with a child in this book. As a parent, I was itching to talk about the colours and have a child point them out and see if they knew their colours, and to talk about the different kinds of snowmen they could build and encourage them to go outside and play. In fact, I was itching to go outside and ski as the snow looked so bright and inviting.  I loved the bright blue sky that featured on each page with snow falling down.  In fact, I was a bigger fan of the illustrations than the overall story.

The story itself was cute, but I was getting so frustrated for Froggy, who wasn't allowed to build his snowman all day long.  Why not just let him build it right away? Then do the activities later?  As a kid, the first thing we all did in the snow was jump in it and make snow angels.  I don't think I was outside more than five seconds before being covered head to toe in snow.  So much fun!!   However, I do love the message in the book whereby Froggy was very patient and decided to go with the flow and do what was asked and scheduled and eventually he got to do what he wanted to do.  Definitely ample opportunities for reader participation in all sorts of settings and opportunities to discuss use of language techniques such as similes and onomatopoeia.   

Froggy Builds a Snowman will definitely appeal to younger children with its bright colours and simple message.  I am so glad the author decided to continue this series as I thought it was complete. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone looking for something fun to read to their children as there is plenty of opportunities to discuss snow, snowmen, getting along, following instructions, and just winter in general.