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Cover image for Beware of the frog
Beware of the frog

1st U.S. ed.
Publication Information:
Cambridge, Mass. : Candlewick Press, 2008.
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 21 x 23 cm
Sweet old Mrs. Collywobbles lives on the edge of a big, dark, scary wood, but has a pet frog to protect her from greedy goblins, smelly trolls, and hungry ogres.
Reading Level:
Elementary Grade.

630 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader 2.9.


Call Number

On Order



With deliciously ugly villains and a gasp-inducing ending, this quirky tale of the unexpected will have readers croaking with laughter.

Sweet old Mrs. Collywobbles lives on the edge of a big, dark, scary wood, so it's a good thing that she has a pet frog to protect her. Too bad for the Greedy Goblin, the Smelly Troll, and the Giant Hungry Ogre, who don't take this little amphibian seriously (GOBBLE)!

Author Notes

William Bee is the author-illustrator of AND THE TRAIN GOES . . . and WHATEVER. He lives in the English countryside.

Reviews 2

School Library Journal Review

Gr 1-4-A sweet little old lady lives in a house in the woods. Her only protection? The sign says it all-"Beware of Frog." When the timid lady's house is approached by a greedy goblin looking to steal things, he's promptly consumed by the guard frog. A smelly troll and a giant hunger ogre arrive and encounter the same fate. The old lady is thrilled. Now she can live in peace and safety. When she grants the frog's wish for a kiss, things don't turn out at all as you would expect. This is a humorous cumulative tale by William Bee (Candlewick, 2008) featuring rhyming villains and a surprise ending that will set children and adults giggling. Bee's computer-edited illustrations are intricate and whimsical, with lots of hidden details. In a conversation with the author, Bee explains how he got the idea for the story and how it evolved over time. He also reveals that a snail is hidden on each page, which is sure to send children scrambling for the book. This delightful production could easily start children writing their own tales about other unusual guard animals.--Teresa Bateman, Brigadoon Elementary School, Federal Way, WA (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Kirkus Review

Joining the rapidly swelling ranks of seemingly innocuous tales for younglings in which main characters are suddenly killed off, this charming outing stars sweet little old Mrs. Collywobbles and the small attack frog that guards her doorstep. The doorstep needs guarding too, as out of the adjacent "big, dark, scary wood" shamble a Greedy Goblin ("Nickerty-noo, nickerty-noo, / if I get a chance / I'll steal from you..."), a Smelly Troll and a Giant Hungry Ogre in succession. All meet the same fate, depicted on spreads with the single word "GOBBLE" and a view of the frog with various disconnected body parts hanging out of its mouth. Mrs. Collywobbles rewards the frog with a transformative kiss--which sets the stage for a final bit of snacking. Set in a mottled, woodsy landscape filled with stylized flowers and leaves, and populated with creatures more ugly than scary-looking, the episode fits neatly among the equally unsettling likes of Jeanne Willis's Tadpole's Promise (2005), illustrated by Tony Ross, and Kara LaReau's Ugly Fish (2006), illustrated by Scott Magoon. (Picture book. 6-8) Copyright ©Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.