Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

I don't want to be a frog

I don't want to be a frog

Dev Petty
Illustrator:  Michael Boldt 
Picture Book
For ages 5 to 7
Random House, 2015   ISBN: 978-0385378666

One day a frog tells his father that he wants to be a cat. His dad explains that he can’t be a cat because he is a frog. The frog child announces that he does not want to be frog anymore. Being a frog is “too Wet.”

   The little frog then says that he wants to be a rabbit. He would be a perfect rabbit because he can hop. Long-suffering Dad points out that the little frog doesn’t have long ears, and you cannot possibly be a rabbit if you don’t have the right ears. Dad feels that being is frog is a perfectly fine thing to be, but the young frog thinks that being a frog is “too Slimy.”

   The young frog goes on to say that he would like to be a pig or an owl, and the father frog patiently explains why a frog simply cannot be these animals. Then a wolf comes along and he asks why the young frog is “so glum,” and the young frog explains why it wishes it could be a cat, rabbit, pig, or owl. They wolf responds by helping the frog to see that being a frog might have its disadvantage, but when a wolf is in the neighborhood it is a very good thing to be.

   All too often we wish we were something else. Being who we are is boring and not very interesting, and surely being someone else would be better. In this clever and deliciously funny picture book the author and illustrator show to great effect that sometimes the best thing to do is to embrace who you are right now. Others may seem to have a better life than you do, but they might not be as well off as they seem.