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999 Tadpoles

by Ken Kimura
Illustrated by Yasunari Murakami

Published by U.S. edition: North-South, 2011
40 pages
ISBN: 978-0-7358-4013-3

Ages 3-6

The 999 tadpoles introduced on the first page spread quickly become 999 young frogs whose small pond has become far too crowded. “We can’t move! . . . We can’t breathe! . . . Don’t push!” The long line of young frogs (sometimes identifiable as amphibians, sometimes represented by green dots on the page) follows Mother and Father in search of a bigger pond. “When will we get there? . . . I’m hungry . . . I’m tired.” The search is long and fraught with danger. First a snake (“Run for your lives!”) then a hungry hawk, who snatches Father. Mother grabs on trying to save him, and the 999 young frogs grab on trying to save them both. “Wheeeee!” The hawk is thrilled to have a year’s worth of dinner in its talons, until the load gets too heavy. “Splash! . . . Mother and Father and 999 young frogs fell into a pond. A BIG pond.” A story originally published in Japan features playfully appealing text and illustrations, which are rendered with deft use of simple shapes, line and color against white. (MS) ©2011 Cooperative Children’s Book Center


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