Little Frog and the Scary Autumn Thing

I had written this Little Frog book a couple of years ago, it had gotten some nice rejections, but then
sold a picture book to Brian Sockin for the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s new children’s line. Turns out Brian (fastest editor/publisher in the East) also had a line of non-bird books called Persnickety that focused a great deal of its list on books about nature. I sent the Little Frog mss. to him, he loved it. I found Ellen Shi–a new graduate of Rhode Island School of Design–interviewed on the Seven Impossible Things blog that I follow. Loved her work and thought she might be a good fit. And Brian agreed.

And suddenly we had a four book series, one for each season and Ellen’s career is on its way. Not all RISDI summer grads get four books by fall!

Next book will be LITTLE FROG AND THE SPRING POLLIWOGS (already written and she’s working on the art now.) Next up, LITTLE FROG AND THE LONG WINTER NAP. (Written, and that’s next on Ellen’s plate.)  I am still trying to figure out what to do for summer. But I have time.

What reviewers have said:

  • “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.”–Publisher’s Weekly
  • “Little Frog is classic Jane Yolen: elegant, surprising, humorous, and touching. And Ellen Shi’s illustrations are lovely and whimsical: a perfect match for a delightful story.” — Mira Bartók, author of The Memory Palace, and the soon to be published The Wonderling: Songcatcher, also an animated film.
  • Rich colors underscore the intensity of Little Frog’s feelings, as the sunlit greens of reeds and lily pads give way to showers of leaves that, in the shadowed woods, glow with autumn reds and golds…a low-key way of introducing the idea of change, in nature or otherwise.”—Kirkus

 


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