Frog and a Very Special Day by Max Veltuijs

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Frog and a very special day

In this heartless story, young Frog awakes one day remembering that his friend (Mole, was it?) had told him what a special day it would be, but not why. He spends the morning visiting some of his animal friends, each of whom shed no light on the matter in various annoying ways. One (Rat, I believe) even smugly says that every day is very special for him. Finally he discovers that Mole has gone out to a party. This shattering news crushes poor Frog, who dismally imagines how wonderful it would have been to attend the party too. Feeling alone, sad, uninvited and still puzzled, Frog returns home…where (no surprise even to very young readers) all his secretive pals have prepared Frog a birthday party, exactly as he’d imagined it.

Sad Frog

A happy tale, after all? I think not. Setting aside the strange idea that Frog wouldn’t remember his own birthday, I failed to see the humour in denying him the joys of anticipation, instead causing him to suffer a dreadful birthday morning. Other Frog tales by this author have interesting morals, in particular Frog and the Stranger, which deals with prejudice very clearly and engagingly, but if there’s one here, I’ve missed it. The usual pleasant, simple Frog illustrations adorn this book, and the level is possibly suitable for beginner readers.

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