Crump, Martha L, Steve Jenkins, and Edel Rodriguez. The Mystery of Darwin’s Frog. Honesdale, Penn: Boyds Mills Press, 2013. Print.
Frog fans unite! Marty Crump has created a wonderful experience for readers and viewers of his book, The Mystery of Darwin’s Frog. The book is everything I want to see in non-fiction: it offers credibility in its authorship, accessibility in its use of language, engagement in terms of its visual content, and authenticity in the nature of its subject.
I am not a fan of frogs, lizards, and other such creatures. Ok, I like Kermit… and Frog & Toad …but that’s it. I say that so you will know my perspective in advance. But this book is almost enough to convince me otherwise. Despite my personal problems, one would do well to consider this book for inclusion in any library that serves children and most elementary classrooms. Why include it? It is rare to find an author and editorial team that can weave narrative, scientific principles, interesting subject matter and real life experiences into one compact edition.
Lavishly illustrated with pictures and drawings to enhance the experience, the reader will also find a wonderfully assembled glossary that explains some of those intentionally seeded words that were included to challenge the reader. There’s also a list of useful websites, some other recommended books, and even a complete bibliography. Teachers will want to use these areas to differentiate instruction and stimulate further inquiry. Teachers of younger children will want to make sure they have this book in their “frog” collection. This is a book that can grow with the reader.
This book could easily morph into a very interactive app. A clever programmer guided by the book’s creative team could turn this into a fun and educational adventure.
Kids need more books like this.