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|City dog, country frog|
Author: Willems, Mo
A reflection on the natural course of friendship, life, and change.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: LG
Reading Level: 2.30
Points: .5 Quiz: 137464
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: K-2
Reading Level: 1.60
Points: 1.0 Quiz: 49762
Common Core Standards
Grade K → Reading → RL Literature → K.RL Craft & Structure
Grade K → Reading → RL Literature → K.RL Key Ideas & Details
Grade K → Reading → RL Literature → K.RL Integration of Knowledge & Ideas
Grade 1 → Reading → RL Reading Literature → 1.RL Key Ideas & Details
Grade 1 → Reading → RL Reading Literature → 1.RL Range of Reading & Level of Text Complexity
Kirkus Reviews (+) (05/15/10)
School Library Journal (+) (05/01/10)
Booklist (+) (03/15/10)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (M) (07/10)
The Hornbook (07/10)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 03/15/2010 *Starred Review* The book begins in spring. City Dog comes to the country, thrilled to run without a leash. Something stops him—Country Frog. Frog’s waiting for a friend: “But you’ll do.” After that the duo plays together, and Frog teaches Dog about splashing and croaking. In the summer, City Dog returns and runs to see Frog. Now it’s his turn to teach Frog games, replete with sniffing, fetching, and barking. In the fall, Country Frog is tired. “Maybe we can play remembering games.” And that’s what they do, remembering jumping and splashing, sniffing and barking. In the winter, snow is everywhere, but Frog is gone. When spring returns, a chipmunk comes across City Dog. “What are you doing?” she asks. City Dog replies sadly, “Waiting for a friend.” Then he smiles a “froggy” smile and adds, “But you’ll do.” It’s hard to imagine a picture book that more consistently (and touchingly) hits all the right notes. Willems, never one to overwrite, is gracefully spare here, making every word count. That leaves room for Muth’s watercolors, richly seasonal, which fill each page. The pictures are imbued with hope and happiness, leaving and longing. This wonderful collaboration makes a significant impact with subtlety and wit. Adults and children will each take away something of their own. - Copyright 2010 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 05/01/2010 PreS-Gr 2— Spare, poignant, and ultimately upbeat, this tale depicts the natural cycle of friendship from an enthusiastic first encounter to contented companionship to the heartbreak of loss and eventual emotional renewal. Presented with a comfortingly consistent narrative structure, the events are set against the backdrop of the changing seasons, reassuring readers that winter will turn again to spring, sadness to joy. In "spring," City Dog runs free in the countryside for the first time ever and discovers an unfamiliar creature perched on a rock. Asked, "What are you doing?" Country Frog smiles and replies, "Waiting for a friend…but you'll do." The two play Country Frog games ("jumping and splashing and croaking") and when reunited in "summer," they enjoy City Dog pastimes ("sniffing and fetching and barking"). In "fall," Country Frog is tired, so the friends spend their time remembering. When City Dog arrives again in "winter," Country Frog is nowhere to be found (a wordless spread shows the pooch sitting on the rock, looking small and forlorn against a stark winterscape). In "spring again," a sad-looking City Dog befriends another critter with a familiar line, and then beams "a froggy smile" (shown in close-up, this warmly illustrated grin guarantees that Country Frog will not be forgotten). Making expert use of color and texture, Muth's expressive paintings clearly convey the tale's emotional nuances. This understated picture book allows plenty of room for young readers to interpret the animals' feelings for themselves and perhaps discuss their own emotions.—Joy Fleishhacker , School Library Journal - Copyright 2010 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Bulletin for the Center... - 07/01/2010 On an exciting spring vacation romp in the back forty, City Dog meets an amiable frog, who shows him some country games; on C. D.’s summer visit, he shows Country Frog some enjoyable city pastimes. In fall, Country Frog is tired, so the two just play “remember-ing games”; come winter, Frog is gone; when spring comes around again, City Dog finds a new friend in a local chipmunk. The setup is a pleasing seasonal story of friendship, but it all takes a bizarre turn with Frog’s unexplained (and presumably fatal) disappearance and Dog’s casual replacement of him. What could be a pretty circularity, the echo of Frog’s first meeting with Dog in Dog’s encounter with the chipmunk (they’re each waiting for a friend, “but you’ll do”), ends up suggesting that sinister disappearance is the norm in this seemingly friendly place (there’s also some strained language in an attempt to keep structure symmetrical). Muth’s watercolors gain a homely texture from their slightly patchy, rough-edged brushwork on the protagonists, even as limpid hues create the idyllic backdrop landscape. There’s an Aesop-y quality to the visions of realistically portrayed animals engaged in seriously anthropomorphic behaviors, and audiences will be amused by the contrast between verisimilitude and fantasy. Overall, though, the seemingly intended “to everything there is a season” message is undercut by the strangeness of the plot; wait until audiences are a little older and give them instead a bitingly humorous dose of reality about animal friendships with Willis’ Tadpole’s Promise (BCCB 7/05). DS - Copyright 2010 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.