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Review: ‘A Frog Thing’

This simple story focuses the rewards of persistence and determination…and has something to say about setting realistic goals.

Title: A Frog Thing
Eric Drachman
Illustrated by: James Muscarello
Published by: Kidwick Books
Developed by: Oceanhouse Media, Inc.
iOS, requires 3.2 or later
Version: 1.08  

PreS-Gr 1-Soft, pleasing colors and mellow background sounds of pond life will draw children into this book app (Kidwick Books, 2005) about a frog named Frank who wants to fly. Unfortunately, the creature’s attempts to take flight were “more like falling than flying.” His parents, though loving, discourage their son, suggesting that he focus on “frog” things instead. Frank finally gets a chance to fly with help from newfound friends after rescuing their fledgling from a watery scare. Applauded for his heroism, the persistent amphibian quickly sets a new, more realistic, goal—to become a great swimmer.

Three reading/listening modes are available: “Read it Myself,” “Read To Me,” and “Auto Play.” In the latter two, the text is highlighted as it is read. The professional narration features individual voices for each character that employ excellent voice quality and a range of emotions. Children can trigger additional sound effects by tapping on the screen.

Movement is achieved through panning and zooming, effectively following the action in the story. Pages turn with ease and an arrow icon allows readers to return to a previous page or the main menu. Through this story children will make many connections to themselves, the world, and other texts.— Janet Swanson, Social Circle Primary School, GA