by Faiz Kermani
illustrated by Korey Scott
age range: 7 to 10 years old
Frijibold is one of the many frogs who live in the park's pond in the heart of New York City. But Frijibold is different. He considers himself an expert on humans. He has spent so much time listening to humans' conversations he can speak their language. The other frogs can't understand why he finds humans so interesting. And Frijibold can't understand why frogs waste their time croaking and lily pad jumping. Right now all the frogs are happily listening to Uncle Krustnut singing and playing his out-of-tune guitar. Uncle Krustnut emigrated long ago from the swamp, and all he can sing about is his childhood in there. Why would Frijibold care about the swamp? He haven't even seen it!
That's why when he hears about the Shark Fin Towers, a beautiful skyscraper opposite to the park, he can't think of anything else but moving there. He finally succeeds and moves to the apartment in the highest floor with a incredibly beautiful panoramic view of the city, but after a while things prove to be different from what he thought they would be.
I find this story original and very humorous. At the same time important topics as identity, expectations, disappointments, ethics, and environmental issues, are addressed.
I think it would work perfectly for independent readers, but might also work for a read aloud with younger/new readers. Some of the vocabulary might be challenging, but not enough as to give up on the book. The pictures are simple but cute, and I wish there were a few more.
The story includes the menu of the Mrs. Boggel's Pond Paradise Cafe and it's just hilarious. Spicy fried fly pizza, dragonfly fries, mashed moths, sugared spiderwebs, apple maggot pie, and chocolate chip crickets are only some of the many delicious options you will find!
I received this copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.