Hidden Lives of Toads Revealed!

Lynn: Yes, there are a zillion books for kids about toads, frogs, and tadpoles. Trust me, few are as terrific as The Hidden Life of a Toad (2017), photographer Doug Wechsler’s up-close and personal look at the fascinating stages of metamorphosis. Most kids will have seen tadpoles, or at least books about them, but here the camera zooms in to provide details beyond what the eye can see.

The Hidden Life of a Toad by Doug WechslerWechler’s photos capture readers’ attention by splashing across the gutter of each two-page spread. Accompanying text is simple and clear and relates directly to each picture. I love that this book can be read and enjoyed by a wide range of ages: sentences are straightforward enough for young readers but at the same time include fascinating facts I’ve not encountered before. Excellent back matter includes a glossary explaining scientific terms, toad facts, information on toad conservation, and details about how Wechsler took his amazing pictures.

I have firsthand evidence of this book’s ability to interest kids. We picked up our 7-year-old grandson for a visit with us and I had a stack of books for the car trip. He went straight to The Hidden Life of a Toad and read it aloud to us. Since his reading options also included a new volume in a graphic novel series he has been inhaling, I am convinced of the appeal!

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About the Author:

Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan are Booklist reviewers and middle-school librarians who have chaired both ALA’s Best Books for Young Adults and the Michael L. Printz Award for YA Literature committees. Follow Bookends on Twitter at @BookendsBlog. You can also find Cindy at @cdobrez and Lynn at @482april.

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