Author: Elizabeth W. Davidson
Illustrator: Michael Hagelberg
Publisher: Five Star Publications, Inc.
ISBN: 978-1-58985-025-5

Then one wonderful afternoon, the zoo people take us in the truck again back to our old pond under the pine trees. While we were at the zoo, people had removed all the bullfrogs and crayfish from the pond. Now it’s safe for us to live here.” Cheery explains in Elizabeth W. Davidson’s book, Cheery – The True Adventures of a Chiricahua Leopard Frog.

This square paperback book is forty pages in length and targeted toward children in grades one to four. With no profanity or scary scenes, the story promotes protecting threatened amphibians in today’s world since approximately forty percent of frogs and salamanders have disappeared worldwide. Illustrator Michael Hagelberg depicts vibrant, colorful and eye-catching drawings on almost every page. At the end of the story, there is an author’s note about frogs, facts, curriculum guide, and contributors’ biographies along with an order form.

In this educational tome, Cheery is an almost extinct Chiricahua Leopard Frog wiggling out of his gooey egg in a pond surrounded by pine trees. He eats green algae and listens to Wise Old Frog tell stories about how few frogs are left.

All of a sudden, a crayfish attacks Cheery but he slips away. He learns bullfrogs can also eat him and give him diseases. He continues to grow long legs and loses his tail since he eats so many crickets, mosquitoes, beetles, spiders, and dragonflies. As winter comes, he hops under a log and hibernates under warm leaves until spring.

But when he looks for his friends, Cheery cannot find them so the old frog tells him they were eaten or got sick. Cheery is sad and lonely at night in the pond. The next day he finds a new friend that looks and sings like him.

When they are caught by a net, they are taken to the zoo and Cheery sees Wise Old Frog and other frogs again. After eggs are laid, he and his friends return to the pond, this time free of all crayfish, bullfrogs and diseases.

This is an excellent tool to teach young ones about the life of a frog and the possible extinction of such a creature. With the engaging pictures to look at that coincide with the story and the helpful guide for further research, this is a marvelous book to get children involved in preservation of our planet.

This book was furnished by Five Star Publications in lieu of an unbiased review.

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