Tad and Dad
Words and pictures by David Ezra Stein
Tadpoles grow into frogs and kids grow into bigger ones, in case it’s escaped your attention.
And just in case it has, David Ezra Stein, receiver of a Caldecott Honor for “Interrupting Chicken” and the Ezra Jack Keats New Writer Award for “Leaves” is here to gently remind you with an antic pair of father/son amphibians named Tad and Dad.
This duo are greatly and charmingly greenly joined at the hip for adventures. The small frog gazes adoringly and approvingly at each and every loud burp that “echoes across the pond.”
Tad’s dream is to swim as fast as Dad as they tuck in at night on the shared lily pad.
And suddenly…he can! He’s grown; legs that is, that hop and reach new heights every day.
Then the singing starts as Tad lung power rivals his Dad’s. Mr. Stein has a wonderful way of showing both fatherly frog pride in accomplishments and exasperation as growth spurts in his young one causes sleep deprivation.
Yet each step of Tad’s growth is punctuated with approval by his Dad, with phrases like “Great shot, son! ( bug tackling) and Great hopping, son!” (leaping lily pads).
That is till the wiggling, poking, kicking and croaking of young Tad keeps Dad up nights. Growing frogs need room!
And tad is quick to tell Dad he snores!
What’s a frog family to do? Separate?
Well, maybe for a bit. But guess what? Green blood is thicker than water. Seems neither can sleep without the other’s company, even if it involves kicking, croaking, snoring and what all!
Kids er frogs! Can’t live with’em; can’t live without’em! But ya gotta love’em! Ribbit!
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