Ribbit! The Truth about Frogs, A Book Review by Kathryn O’Neill

Children love to learn about the wonders of this world and its creatures. And Annette Whipple, loves to research and write about those creatures. In her Truth About series published by Reycraft. The series pairs fascinating facts about animals with colorful, up-close photos. The series includes Whooo Knew? The Truth About Owls; Woof! The Truth About Dogs; and Scurry! The Truth About Spiders. To the delight of children in my art classes, and many others, I’m sure, Ribbit! The Truth About Frogs, Annette’s most recent book, has now joined the series. 

What Children Will Like about Ribbit! The Truth About Frogs

The cover of each book in the series has an attention-getting, up-close photo of the animal and its eyes—the fierce eyes of an owl, the dark, melting eyes of a puppy, the many eyes of a hairy spider, and now the big, bulging eyes of a frog!

Ribbit! The Truth About Frogs book image

The question-and-answer format paired with more amazing photos holds a child’s interest throughout. Like the other Who Knew books, Ribbit is the type of book some children will choose to read straight through, while others will dip into pages or photos that especially grab their attention.

Sidebars called Leaping Legs give more information in a humorous way children will love.

Whether children dip in here and there or dive in, they’ll soak up more than just basic facts. For example, though many children know frog eggs turn into tadpoles before becoming frogs, Ribbit helps them discover that some frog mamas lay eggs on leaves. When they hatch, they slide off into a pond.

Ribbit! The Truth About Frogs: fact sheet

Find Fascinating Photos and Funky Facts on Every Page of Ribbit! The Truth about Frogs

Here are some examples of page spreads:

  • How Do Frogs Eat?
  • What Sounds Do Frogs Make?
  • Why Don’t Frogs Freeze to Death?

And there’s toad-aly so much more more!

  • Frogs vs. toads
  • Facts or fiction about frogs
  • How to find and see frogs
  • DIY toad house to build
  • Free frog teacher guide with STEM and ELA activities for school or home.

How I Use the Truth About Books in My Classroom

I’m an art teacher, and I enjoy adding the A to turn the Truth About books into STEAM books, too! In art we teach children (and adults, too) that taking the time to look carefully is the way to learn to draw. So when Whooo Knew, The Truth About Owls came out, I knew it would be perfect for the art room.

To interest and prepare my third graders to make owl collages, I first asked them questions about owls as Annette does in her books. Then I read some of the surprising answers and showed the up-close photos. The page about what owls eat and the photo of the owl swallowing a mouse hooked them, and they pored over facts and photos as we worked on their collages. Those owl collages won rave reviews on Grandparent’s Day!

This year I’m introducing a mixed media art project with a 3-D spider to my first graders. I plan to pair Annette’s Scurry! The Truth About Spiders book with Eric Carle’s The Very Busy Spider to help them learn more about color and line. I’m working on an idea to use Ribbit! The Truth About Frogs with the lily pond paintings we do of Monet’s garden.

Soon Meow! The Truth about Cats will be out and will join our art room collection. I know those cats will leap into my student’s hearts to help them draw a variety of cats to sit on their woven mats project.

All so much fun, but I especially like Annette Whipple’s books because children clearly see the wonder and variety of creatures in the world and all the special ways God has made them for survival in their environments.

Are You Interested in Writing Nonfiction Books Children Will Love?

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Kathy O’Neill is an art teacher who loves to show everyone they can draw. Visit her website http://www.kathy-oneill.com/ to discover more about her writing and workshops, and her blog https://kathythepicturelady.wordpress.com/ for a Christian view of great art and related projects and devotions for children. Kathy’s goal is to engage children’s and adult’s hearts, hands and minds to discover God and their own creativity through art, history, and nature

2 thoughts on “Ribbit! The Truth about Frogs, A Book Review by Kathryn O’Neill

  1. Oh my goodness! I LOVE reading how educators use my books with students. This is the perfect STEAM pairing! So much science and art! It’s amazing what we learn when we observe the details!

  2. That is so true, Annette! Taking the time to look is so important for learning, and it can lead us to God who made al the beauty and variety that surrounds us. I love using your books in my classroom for those purposes. And they’re just plain fun, too!

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