Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Bertha and the Frog Choir

Bertha and the Frog Choir

Luc Foccroulle
Illustrator:  Annick Masson 
Picture Book
For ages 4 to 6
NorthSouth, 2012   ISBN: 978-0735840621

Bertha, like all frogs, dreams about being a member of the frog choir. After all, frogs are not elegant like swans or pretty like foxes. Their voices are their biggest asset, and being able to use their voices to best effect is what they all aim for.

Today is Bertha’s “Big day.” She is going to try out for the chorus. When she gets to the gathering place, Bertha sees that many other young frogs are eager to join the chorus. They are all lined up along the pond shore waiting for their auditions. Bertha waits in the line behind her friend Lucy, who is very nervous and anxious. To Bertha’s horror, little Lucy is rejected because she is too small. Lucy isn’t even allowed to sing a single note. Bertha sings her song and she is rejected too. The painful truth is that Bertha’s voice is…well…painful to listen to.

Bertha and Lucy sit together on the side of pond, both of them miserable about their failed auditions. Then Bertha comes up with an idea. She will cook all kinds of delicious meals for Lucy to help her grow, and Lucy will teach Bertha how to sing. The idea is a good one, but unfortunately Lucy does not grow any bigger and Bertha proves unable to learn how to sing a decent note. Then Lucy comes up with an idea. Perhaps this time their plan will work.

Many of us have dreams that we hold on to, hoping that one day they will come true. It isn’t long before we also learn that making dreams come true isn’t an easy thing to do. In this picture book, readers will meet two dreamers, two dreams, and two problems.

With humor and sensitivity the author helps his audience to understand that you have to be true to who you really are. No matter what.