Publisher: Troubador Publishing
Publication date: January 19, 2017
Buy Links: Amazon
Summary (from Amazon): It's not always easy being different, as Biriwita the blue frog is only too aware. He longs to be accepted at Croak College, the most famous school for frogs in Malawi, but the other students all turn their backs on him. He is just too different! The Frog Who Was Blue is a witty and charming tale underpinned by the message that being different to others is no bad thing. It will appeal to children aged 7-9, and fans of Faiz's former books. Faiz Kermani is publishing The Frog Who Was Blue to support the World Medical Fund (WMF), a medical charity working in Africa. WMF's focus is on the region's poorest and most vulnerable children, including AIDS orphans, whose practical and cost-effective programs treat over 25,000 children every year in rural Malawi. This life-saving work relies entirely on donations. More information about the WMF is on their webpage, www.worldmedicalfund.org.
When a blue frog becomes the first from his area to be accepted into the prestigious Croak College, he's ecstatic. Biriwita is sure he's going to have a wonderful time and do great things. Unfortunately when he goes and meets with the other students things don't go as planned. No frog outside his home lake is blue and some of the other frogs get together and bully Biriwita harshly. Pushing and mocking the poor frog for not being green. Biriwita comes to regret going to the college but when danger arises it will be up to him to decide if he will stand up and help those who mocked him or hide and abandon them.
I really enjoyed this book. My only issue was the writing seemed not as good as some previous children books I've read (there is little there in my opinion to push children's imagination). I felt the illustrations had to do a lot of heavy lifting. Informative writing and imaginative writing are not the same and it just seemed that the author forgot his core audience are small children. You can inform and keep your writing exciting for little kids. The writing was not terrible by itself but adding audience and how bland it would be without
Still the story rang true and the lesson was brilliant. Biriwita's story was set in Africa and it was nice to see a picture book take a direct look at education, family legacy and death. That is not always the case as sometimes these things get glossed over when written for children. But in this book you know that education is important and the value of being the first from your area to get higher education. A timely topic indeed for many. Also the risk of death was well shown and not just told to the reader. A child listening to or reading this tale can envision what danger the other frogs are in and read to see how things will turn out. Plus the art is quite nice and the fact that this book is to help a charity is another tick in the positive column.
In the end though I have to dock it down for the writing. But if not for that this would be a five star read and the story is still great overall.
Rating: 3.5 Stars
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