Bartholomew Botts loved pets.
Hoppy pets, hairy pets, and scaly pets. He loved them
all so much that he couldn't go to school without one.
So begins No Frogs in School. A frog named Ferdinand is the first pet Bartholomew takes to school. Ferdinand goes to school in Bartholomew's lunchbox and makes an unexpected appearance when the class is talking about mixing colors. He jumps right into fellow classmate Lacey's finger paints. The teacher, Mr. Patanoose, is not happy. He creates a rule: No frogs in school.
The next day, Bartholomew brings a salamander to school. More trouble ensues. Sigfried the Salamander runs up a student's sleeve and hangs from the teacher's shoe. Mr. Patanoose comes up with another new rule. No frogs, toads, or tadpoles; nothing born on the water but living on land as an adult (amphibian) is allowed in the classroom.
You can see where this is going. Bartholomew is smart enough to know his amphibians from his mammals and reptiles. He keeps bringing new pets -- and chaos -- until Mr. Patanoose declares all pets owned by Bartholomew off-limits for school, including show and tell. But, then Bartholomew has an idea. He brings Rivka the rabbit to school, but offers up Rivka as the classroom pet. Now, he can see an animal at school every day and so can everyone else.
Recommended - I think what I like most about No Frogs in School is the illustrations. There's a lot going on in the illustrations, plenty to keep your eyes moving, which is always nice for pre-readers who like to pretend to read while really looking at the pictures. At the same time, there's a good story to go back and read as a beginning reader. Here's an example (you should be able to click on the image to enlarge):
No Frogs in School is also an excellent introduction to what it's like inside the classroom for children who are on the verge of attending school and a great laugh for animal lovers.
No Frogs in School is Book #2 for Children's Week at Bookfoolery. More to come.
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