Poor Hugo! What can one small frog--with a squeaky little croak--do against a big, bad gang of bullies? Every animal has a suggestion about how he can defend himself, but Hugo is just too timid to do anything. Then bossy Duck comes by with an answer--and the next time the Bullyfrogs appear, they meet quite a different Hugo...Every child who has ever had to put up with a bully will take heart from this clever and reassuring tale.
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Francesca Simon, an author beloved for her humor and ability to handle difficult topics in a reassuring way, has also written Camels Don't Ski, another David & Charles children's book, distributed by Sterling.
Terrorized by the "big, bad bullyfrogs" in his pond, Hugo--"a very small frog with a very small croak"--gets tutored in self-protection by a friendly duck. While he can't shout "No pushing!" in his own meek voice, he can make a fierce noise when he imitates her bold quack. So when the bullies close in, "Hugo opens his mouth and... Quack!"--his persecutors flee. Simon's (Camels Don't Ski) facile tale would be more reassuring if loud quacking were a more workable strategy; instead, it would appear to invite further abuse. Church's (Animal Hospital) boldly outlined bug-eyed fish and worm spectators populate the pond; Hugo resembles the classic weakling in his striped one-piece bathing costume and bandy legs. This slight offering may provide the satisfaction of seeing an underdog vanquish his oppressors, but kids victimized by bullies may be disappointed to see the problem so easily and unconvincingly resolved. Ages 3-7. (Dec.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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