A Spoonful of Frogs

A Spoonful of Frogs cover
A Spoonful of Frogs by Casey Lyall. Illustrated by Vera Brosgol

By Casey Lyall
Illustrated by Vera Brosgol
Greenwillow, 2002
32 pages

Ages 3-6

The green-skinned witch hosting a cooking show breezes confidently through the first few steps of making Frog Soup. She’s filled her cauldron with water, added potatoes, carrots, 22 cloves of garlic, and fly extract. It’s not until she reaches her final ingredient— a spoonful of frogs for “a kick of flavor and a pop of color”— that the recipe jumps off course. She reaches a wooden spoon into a glass terrarium of frogs and scoops one up, but it leaps from the spoon onto her hat. The witch adjusts her instructions as the frog, joined by its compatriots, continually gets away from her. “Grab the frogs and put them on the spoon. Get the frogs. Put them on the spoon. Find the frogs and place them on the spoon. Scoop up the frogs with the spoon. Chase the frogs. Trap them in a pot. Tip them out… onto the spoon.” Her frustration mounts, culminating in a chase that leads out of the TV studio and into a park, where she slips into a stream during full frog pursuit. With a page turn, the witch is back on set (missing her hat and one shoe), suggesting pickles as an acceptable substitute for frogs.  The witch’s attempts to keep her cool and continue her cooking narration begs to be read aloud, while the digital illustrations amplify the humor of this merry offering. Listeners will relish the frogs’ clear command of the mounting chaos. ©2022 Cooperative Children’s Book Center