Ready to Ribbet? Stink and the Freaky Frog Freakout by Megan McDonald
THE SHARK SNEAKED THROUGH THE WATER LIKE A SILVER STREAK. STINK FELT SOMETHING GRAB HIS LEG. S-S-SHARK ATTACK!!
AARGH! STINK LEAPED OUT OF THE WATER, KER-SPLASH!
THE SNEAKY SHARK WAS HIS SISTER JUDY!
"I'M A SHARK AND YOU'RE STILL A POLLIWOG. YOU'RE GOING TO HAVE TO PUT YOUR HEAD UNDERWATER SOME TIME, STINK! I'M ALMOST A BARRACUDA!"
Swimming lessons are not exactly going swimmingly for Stink, stuck with his head determinedly above water, inseparable from his swim noodle, while almost-Barracuda Judy shows off, diving to the bottom of the pool for quarters. Stink can't wait to get away from the water.
But when he finds a little tree frog with three legs in the locker-room shower, Stink gets interested in frogs. Frogs show up in his bathtub, his boots, the garden hose, and even in their garage. Is it raining frogs?
To find out why the town is full of frogs, Stink's dad takes him and his friends to the local nature center for a lesson on amphibians, where a graduate student named Jasper invites them along for the annual Frog Neck Lake Frog Count--if he can pass a test on identifying frog calls. Judy even pitches in to help, Stink leaps to the head of the frog call class, and with his Frog Log clipboard and Sophie and Webster along as assistants, Stink counts croaks and learns a lot about why, because of environmental problems, there are fewer frogs croaking in the lake but more of them sproinging in the suburbs than ever before.
Then the next morning, Stink wakes up in the middle of an exciting Spiderman dream to find a frog licking the freckle on his arm. Could this frog be like Peter Parker's spider? Could it be giving Stink special frog powers?
THE FROG WAS BLUE.
THIS FROG WAS NOT NORMAL. THIS FROG WAS A MUTANT!
AND ... THE FROG HAD LICKED STINK. JUST LIKE THE SPIDER THAT BIT PETER PARKER!
FREAKY FROG FREAKOUT! STINK HAD A PETER PARKER OF A SECRET!
At breakfast the raisins in Stink's cereal start to look just like dead flies. He eats them first. Then he eats all of Judy's dead flies, er, raisins, too. He discovers that his tongue is long enough to touch his nose. He has an overwhelming desire to play outside in the rain, leaping through puddles and playing in the mud. Worms are even looking good to him. Can he be feeling his freaky frog powers?
Now Stink can't wait for the next swim lesson. Frogs love to swim underwater, and they never need a noodle, either. Stink just knows he's going to leapfrog forward into barracuda level even before Judy!
Megan McDonald's latest, Stink and the Freaky Frog Freakout (Book #8) (Candlewick Press, 2013), has Stink & Company hopping happily into a watery world of amphibians as bossy Judy Moody's little brother Stink finds himself diving into the deeps all by himself in this eighth book in the spinoff Stink series. A little sibling rivalry (and cooperation), a bit of overcoming fears, a lot of incidental learning about amphibian environments, and Peter Reynolds' inspired black-and-white comic illustrations make this newest Stink story a winner for reluctant and beginning chapter readers and a natural for summer nature study adventures. McDonald even tucks in fun frog Creature Feature quizzes along the way so that readers take away some awesome amphibian information as well as a dozen ways to say "Ribbet!"