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A Frog in the Bog

Last updated Friday, March 30, 2007

Author: Karma Wilson
Illustrator: Joan Rankin
Date of Publication: 2003
ISBN: 0689840810
Grade Level: 1st    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Apr. 2007

Synopsis: From School Library Journal: This imaginative counting book will keep children laughing as a little frog eats his way through a variety of swamp delicacies, including "ONE tick," "TWO fleas," "THREE flies (Oh, my!)," "FOUR slugs," and "FIVE snails." Upon consuming each snack, "the frog grows a little bit bigger." After he has reached massive proportions, he is suddenly startled when the log he has been resting on develops a pair of yellow eyes and wide jaws. He screams "Gator!" opening his own mouth so wide that the creatures he has eaten are able to escape from his crowded stomach. The countdown is from five to one as the frog shrinks back to his normal size. Happily, the gator loses interest and swims away, because "the itty-bitty frog/isn't big enough to chomp." This gastronomic adventure is told in catchy rhyming verse, complemented by soft, dreamy watercolors that perfectly re-create the bog. The illustrations are enhanced by humorous details, including a flea circus set up in the background, the frog's jaunty sun hat, and the expressive faces of the swamp creatures crammed into the frog's belly.

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  What is a bog? [like a swamp or wetlands] What sorts of creatures live in a bog?
•  Listen to the title words. Do they sound the same? What do we call words like this? Do you think the author does this on purpose? Will there be rhyming words in the story?
•  What is a frog? Have you ever seen a frog? Where?

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  Discuss each animal as it comes up in the story. See if the children are familiar with it.
•  What happens to the frog as it eats the other animals?
•  What happens to the log the frog is sitting on?
•  Have you ever seen an alligator? Do we have alligators around here? Where do they live?

Craft ideas:
•  Make a paper plate/construction paper frog. Start with a paper plate/large circle of construction paper. Fold the plate/paper circle in half. Draw a two eyes on top of folded circle. Cut out a tongue from left over paper and glue inside of folded circle. Cut out 2 long legs and 2 short legs from left over paper. Glue long legs on the folded edge and 2 short legs to the curved edge.
•  Make a snail. Cut out a small circle of paper (about 3 diameter). Draw and then cut a spiral to make a snail shell.

Special activities:
•  Play leapfrog.

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don't have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!