"What are you doing?" asked City Dog. "Waiting for a friend," replied Country Frog with a smile. "But you'll do."
City Dog, Country Frog by Mo Willems, illustrated by Jon J Muth; Hyperion Books for Children (June 2010); ISBN 9781423103004; 64 pages;
Book Source: Copy from local library
We're in frog mode this week, hopping and croaking and reading frog books. It all started after bringing home a new Mo Willems' book from the library. I hadn't read any reviews of City Dog, Country Frog before bringing it home from the library to read with my kids. When I see a book by author, Mo Willems, I snap it up without thinking twice and anticipate a fun, lighthearted read. However, with City Dog, Country Frog, Willems takes a completely different direction. Touching, poignant, bittersweet - those are the words that have been used to describe the story about friendship between two unlikely friends, a frog and a dog. They meet one spring day and continue to play together through the seasons, teaching each other new games and finding companionship and conversation. Winter arrives and friendships change, but the big froggy smile remains.
The first time I read the book aloud, my husband was listening in a nearby room. As I finished the book, he walked toward me with a confused, concerned and surprised expression wanting to see the book for himself. It takes a special kind of picture book to get a response from an adult, and this one certainly has that quality. I don't want to say too much, but this book has the power to invoke a deep emotional response in the reader. The passage of time is clearly evident - friendship and loss is dealt with in an original way. The writing is simple, Muth's watercolor illustrations are exceptional. It's a great exploration of friendship and the seasons of life, written in an easy, gentle way for children to interpret in their own way and question.
Booklist Online : The Story Behind the Story - Mo Willems’ City Dog, Country Frog
We wanted to create our own frog friends, and decided to make painted rock frogs this week. It's an easy craft for all ages. The kids searched for frog shaped rocks outside, colored them green with acrylic paint and added a few yellow speckles (or globs in my toddlers case) for good measure. We found a template online for the feet on ZiggyZoom. I cut out the feet from a sheet of green foam paper. We used Glue Dots to add the wiggly eyes and feet to the body of the frog. We made five frogs in total so we could use them when singing the "Five Green and Speckled Frogs" song.
My daughter thinks her frog needs a rock dog friend. We'll have to work on one of those later, and I'll post it if it turns out.
A Mommy's Adventures hosts the "stART" meme (Story + Art) each week. Hope Is the Word hosts a Read Aloud Thursday link-up as well.
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