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The Story of Frog Belly Rat BoneReview - The Story of Frog Belly Rat Bone
by Timothy Basil Ering
Candlewick Press, 2003
Review by Christian Perring, Ph.D.
Apr 7th 2003 (Volume 7, Issue 15)

The Story of Frog Belly Rat Bone is a beautifully constructed picture book for young children.  The first thing that strikes you is the cover, when you realize that it is textures and indented, making it feel hand-made.  The text is written in a messy scrawl and the artwork is rudimentary, or so it looks at first.  It shows the city of Cementland, a stark and alienating landscape, painted in drab and dark colors.  A boy finds a treasure chest, which contains seed packets, and plants some, but they are stolen at night.  So the boy creates a guardian for the seeds, made of smelly socks, moldy pillow stuffing, and scraggly wires.  The creature comes to life and has crooked bony arms and a giant-size belly.  The boy gives him a crown and calls him Frog Belly Rat Bone.  Together with new friends they successfully create a beautiful garden of flowers, fruits and vegetables.  This is a vibrant telling of a simple uplifting tale, and the dramatic art and the language are bound to appeal to children.

 

© 2003 Christian Perring. All rights reserved.

 

Christian Perring, Ph.D., is Chair of the Philosophy Department at Dowling College, Long Island, and editor of Metapsychology Online Review. His main research is on philosophical issues in medicine, psychiatry and psychology.


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