Monday, June 08, 2015

He's the Man! Tad and Dad by David Ezra Stein

My Dad has big, buggy eyes, strong legs, and a huge mouth.

He sings in a loud burp that echoes across the pond, and I love him.

As soon as I could wiggle, I swam everywhere with my dad.

Even though Tad is but a tadpole, Dad praises his little one's swimming. But when it's time to go to sleep, Tad suddenly shows that he can jump right out of reach.

And when Tad is put down and Dad makes his way to the muddy shore to sleep, he is surprised to find there's a wiggly little critter who follows him to his bed.

Then Tad grows a leg! Dad is even prouder when Tad grows a second leg, until, that is, he notices that in bed Tad can now wiggle and kick! Tad practices his jumps all day, and Dad's eyes are bleary and his legs are weary from loss of sleep.

"Tad!" said Dad. "When you jump on my bed, I can't sleep because you are always wiggling and poking, kicking and croaking."

Tad feels bad. He didn't know he was a terrible bedfellow. That night he moves out, telling Dad he's going to sleep by himself like a big frog.

But now Dad can't sleep. He wiggles and pokes, and kicks and croaks.

"FROG-BONE IT!" Dad croaks. "I still can't sleep."

With a small splash, Tad is right there.

"I think I know what you need, Dad!" said Tad. "A little company."

Caldecott artist David Ezra Stein's Tad and Dad (Penguin Group, 2015) is a fine story of a father frog who learns that sometimes kids grows up faster than their parents like. Stein's illustrations are classics, done in blackline and dabs of watercolor that have a bit of a retro feel to them, in full-bleed double-page pond views or spot art with a watery wash of a pond water hue. Just right for Fathers Day and "A wonderful bedtime or froggy-themed storytime read," says School Library Journal with a ribbitt!

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