Thursday, December 6, 2007

The Frog Who Wanted to See the Sea

THE FROG WHO WANTED TO SEE THE SEA; Guy Billout; Mankato, MN: Creative Editions,

2007; 30 pgs. Picture Book

Guy Billout is an artist whose pictures are austere but striking, and this present book was named as one of the Best Illustrated Books of the Year by The New York Times. Alice is a frog who knows her limits--her murky little pond is twenty-eight kicks of her back legs across and filled with familiar reeds. But once Alice meets a wide-ranging seagull, she wants to see the ocean. After a daring cross-country trek, she floats down a frighteningly big river on her lily pad and wakes up one morning to find herself in the sea. Alice's adventures there are brief, and she is helped back home by the kindly offices of a round yellow moon. While she feels safe at home, she finds she cannot stay long . . . . This is a lovely book about wanting to know more, and daring the venture. The story and the pictures work well together, but it would be a comfort to me if writers and editors still knew that the past participle of "to wake" is " had awakened" and the past tense of "dive" is "dived," not "dove," which was a bird last time I checked.

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