It’s a beautiful bright morning here, so what better time for a review of a beautifully bright picture book?
Book: Leap Frog by Jane Clarke and Britta Teckentrup
Read before: No
Ownership: Review copy sent free of charge by Nosy Crow. All opinions my own.
This book follows Felix the tree frog as he travels through the jungle on his way to bed. It’s filled with gorgeously colourful art (Felix is neon green, and really stands out!) with a blocky, simple style that’s really effective, and offers plenty of tidbits of information about tree frogs and their habits. On his way, Felix meets animals from beetles to snakes to monkeys, and though each encounter makes him nervous, he eventually finds a safe place to rest for the night.
This is by far one of the most interactive picture books I’ve seen – the text encourages you to call out to encourage Felix or scare away predators, and to make the noises of the environment. With that combined with the bright colours and eyecatching art, I can imagine it’s a lot of fun to read with an enthusiastic child, although possibly not the calmest! There’s quite a lot of focus on Felix being scared of the other animals in the jungle, so sensitive kids might find it a bit too perilous, though each threat turns out to be “nothing to be scared of”, which is repeated often throughout the book.
One thing I really enjoyed about this was that when it comes time for Felix to go to bed, it’s his daddy who settles him down. Obviously I’m only fairly new to reading picture books as an adult, so maybe this is widespread, but I thought it was a nice surprise to see that bedtime isn’t left to the mother as emotional carer – the father is taking an active role in Felix’s daily care. It’s the little things like that that really make a book work for the modern day.
With gorgeous colours, entertaining interactions, and a sweet message, Leap Frog is both enjoyable and informative. Five out of five cats!