Leo Lionni, an internationally known designer, illustrator, and graphic artist, was born in Holland and lived in Italy until he came to the United States in 1939. He was the recipient of the 1984 American Institute of Graphic Arts Gold Medal and was honored posthumously in 2007 with the Society of Illustrators' Lifetime Achievement Award. His picture books are distinguished by their enduring moral themes, graphic simplicity and brilliant use of collage, and include four Caldecott Honor Books-Inch by Inch, Frederick, Swimmy,and Alexander and the Wind-Up Mouse.Hailed as "a master of the simple fable" by theChicago Tribune,he died in 1999 at the age of 89.
PreS-Gr 1 Although there's not as much depth as in Frederick (1966) or as much whimsy as in Alexander. . . (1969, both Pantheon), this is still a fine choice for spring story hours. Three childlike frogs spend their days bickering and baiting each other: it's mine, claims one about the water. Another purports ownership of the earthor a wormor a butterflyor whatever. It isn't until disaster almost stikes and they are saved by a toad that Milton, Rupert and Lydia realize that private ownership isn't that important. Whether grumbling for the sake of being difficult or dancing with delight, Lionni's frogs spring to life. Collages of marbled-textured paper, all in cool, crisp, spring-like colors against a stark white background, are a perfect match for this story of selfishness on the pond, carried out in beautifully simple line and language. Trev Jones, ``School Library Journal''
"This story of selfishness on the pond, carried out in beautifully
simple collages and language, is a fine choice for story hours."
--School Library Journal
"The language [is] clear and precise, the illustrations cleanly done and full of action." --Kirkus Reviews