Little Frog and the Scary Autumn Thing
Jane Yolen, illus. by Ellen Shi. Persnickety (Legato, dist.), $15.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-943978-01-4
Vivid autumn foliage is generally considered to be a thing of beauty, but those unfamiliar colors spell danger to a young frog. “To Little Frog, red and gold were scary,” writes Yolen (On Bird Hill). “They were the colors of hot sun and cold blood.” Mama Frog tells her daughter that “most things that are scary are only just new,” and after exploring the forest on her own and sliding down a pile of leaves with her father, Little Frog starts to agree. Yolen doesn’t rush Little Frog’s emotional turnaround, and newcomer Shi’s inviting mixed-media landscapes make it clear that the amphibian is never in danger. Little Frog’s (mostly) reasoned reactions to her own nervousness hint at ways readers might tackle their own fears. Ages 4–8.