Another lovely book about love.
This is the first in a series that was first around in 1989, so I missed it the first time around. I have to be honest, when this came in I dismissed it as I wasn’t keen on the cover (and yes you DO judge books by their cover). I thought it over simplistic and flicked through it, not particularly enjoying the pictures.
But one of my colleagues grew up with them (he’s almost 19) and raved about it. I trust his judgement on all things book-related and so I read it properly. And I have to say, I was totally charmed.
Frog has palpitations and asks friends who that might be. Hare consults a medical book and duly pronounces that Frog must be in love. Frog decides that he must be in love with Duck and gets very excited about it all.
He can’t bring himself to tell Duck how he feels though, so he paints Duck a beautiful picture and pushes it under her door. Then he delivers a bunch of flowers and so it goes on, day after day, with Duck wondering who left it all (and with the picture framed and in pride of place on her wall).
Frog goes off his good and becomes sad until he decides that the best thing to do is to break a world record in the high jump to fully demonstrate his love. He practices hard and then at thirteen minutes past two on Friday afternoon things go wrong – he loses his balance and falls. And who should be passing but Duck, who takes him home and looks after him.
Finally Frog picks up the courage to tell Duck how he feels and Duck, it turns out, feels the same way. And ever since then they have loved each other dearly.
There’s a message in their too about love having no boundaries as Hare tells Frog that he can’t love Duck as she isn’t a Frog. And this is a very positive message for the child readers. But what I enjoyed most about it was how it shows all the different aspects of loving someone – when it is distracting and painful when you don’t know if the other person feels the same way, and then the complete joy when you know that it is reciprocated.
By the end of the book I was in love with it – including the pictures.
So thank you Joe for getting me to read this book. It would make a great Valentine’s gift for proper grown ups (i.e. ones who like to receive picture books) and is a lovely, honest story about love and determination and how differences don’t matter. If you wrongly dismissed it like me, read it.