Contrarian Amphibian: I Don't Want to Be a Frog! by Dev Petty
"I DON'T WANT TO BE A FROG! IT'S TOO WET!
"A RABBIT? I CAN HOP!"
"OH, SURE, SAID DAD FROG. "BUT WHERE ARE YOUR LONG EARS?"
A contrarian young tad declares that he cannot, will not, be a frog.
Toddlers can be ornery, but Dad Frog has about had it with his own little "taddler" who is clearly not comfortable in his own slippery skin. There's nothing about being a frog that he favors. Frogs are wet, slimy, and (YURGHH!) they eat bugs.
One by one the youngster trots out wannabe possibilities--CAT? PIG, MAYBE?
"YOU DON'T HAVE A CURLY TAIL OR EAT GARBAGE!" SAYS DAD.
"I CAN EAT GARBAGE," LITTLE FROG SAYS.
"EVERYONE SAYS THAT UNTIL THEY EAT GARBAGE," ADDS HIS DAD.
Dad Frog is weary with all this wrangling, his eyelids at half-mast--the adult form of the teenage eyeroll--as he goes on to explain that, no, his little one can't be a owl either. And, yes, frogs do eat bugs now and again, like it or not.
But then a shaggy, wolf appears just as the young frog declares he's gotta be something cute and warm. The wolf begins to lick his chops hopefully.
"I LOVE EATING CATS... RABBITS... OWLS! I MIGHT JUST GOBBLE ONE UP RIGHT NOW!" THE WOLF SLAVERS. "IT'S WHO I AM!
"GUESS THE ONE THING I NEVER EAT?"
Bingo! It's Please pass the bug sandwiches, Dad, in Dev Petty's debut picture book, I Don't Want to Be a Frog (Doubleday Books, 2015), as Little Frog suddenly sees the upside of froghood and deftly laps out his long tongue to snatch a fly in flight to prove who he is. Yum! Bugs! Artist Mike Boldt nails the negative toddler vibe in his argumentative big-mouthed little frog who finally confronts the uselessness of denying his own nature. This story is one that will please the young story book crowd still in their own negativity phase and yet get giggles with its snappy, ironic banter from savvy upper primary readers.