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Tadpole's Promise
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The award-winning, unpredictable picture book from this best-selling author/artist team now available for the first time in paperback.

About the Author

Jeanne Willis is one of our best-loved authors of children's books, and also writes for television and video companies. She has two children. Tony Ross is one of the top UK children's illustrators. His books are published all over the world. He lives in Cheshire.

Reviews

K-Gr 4-Beginning with pages that open vertically instead of horizontally, this tongue-in-cheek tale takes a typical love story and sets it squarely-and amusingly-on end. Ross's vibrantly hued pen-and-ink and watercolor cartoons depict the edge of a pond where a caterpillar and a tadpole meet and fall in love: "She was his beautiful rainbow, and he was her shiny black pearl." Perched on a leaf above the water, she smiles down at her sweetheart and asks him to "Promise you'll never change." Although he agrees, some vows are difficult to keep, and when they next meet, he has sprouted two legs. She forgives him, but after he breaks his promise twice more and now looks more like a frog than her "shiny black pearl," the lovelorn larva ends the affair and cries herself to sleep (sequestered in a cocoon). Meanwhile, the melancholy frog sulks around the pond, making heart-shaped air bubbles that rise to the surface and burst. When the caterpillar awakens, now a butterfly, she decides to forgive her beloved and flies above the water to find him. Without a thought, the frog swallows her whole, and then returns to wondering about whatever happened to his "beautiful rainbow." Willis strikes the perfect balance between the deadpan telling and the humorously overblown dialogue shared by the star-crossed pair, while the artwork masterfully enhances each and every nuance. Enjoy this funny story on its own merits or try using it to lighten up a science lesson.-Joy Fleishhacker, School Library Journal Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

"Unforgettable." * Guardian * "Breaks the mould in form as well as content." * The Sunday Times * "'Beginning with pages that open vertically instead of horizontally, this tongue-in-cheek tale takes a typical love story and sets it squarely and amusingly on end. Ross's vibrantly hued pen-and-ink and watercolour cartoons depict the edge of the pond where a caterpillar and a tadpole meet and fall in love. . . Willis strikes the perfect balance between the deadpan telling and the humorously overblown dialogue shared by the star-crossed pair, while the artwork masterfully enhances each and every nuance.'" * The School Library Journal * "'It's terrific.'" -- Posy Simmonds * Posy Simmonds * "'For nourishment of grammatical and contextual awareness, a perfect book for reading aloud is Tony Ross' and Jeanne Willis' wicked little love story - Tadpole's Promise. It starts eloquently and promisingly: "Where the willow meets the water a tadpole met a caterpillar. They gazed into each other's tiny eyes... and fell in love. She was his beautiful rainbow and he was her shiny black pearl." But then the tadpole promises the caterpillar he will never change thus ensuring the most captive of reading audiences as they watch the inevitable changes that unfold. The final gasp-making twist (student teachers have shrieked!) is all the funnier for being juxtaposed against such poetic language.'" -- Alison Kelly * Books for Keeps *

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