Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Stink and the Freaky Frog Freakout

Stink and the Freaky Frog Freakout

Megan McDonald
Illustrator:   Peter H. Reynolds 
Fiction  Series
For ages 6 to 8
Candlewick, 2013   ISBN: 978-0763661403

Generally Stink is a pretty easy going seven-year-old who likes to do all kinds of things. One thing that he does not like to do is to stick his head underwater at the pool because when he does he gets a burning, choking “nose wedgie.” Stink’s big sister, Judy, tries to convince him that it is time for him to move up in the swimming pool ranking, and to stop being a Polliwog who doggie paddles with a swimming noodle. Judy is a Shark and Stink’s friends, Sophie and Webster, are both Dolphins. Stink is the only one who is still noodling around being a Polliwog.

One day, after his swimming lesson, Stink goes to the showers and he gets a big surprise. A small green someone is already there; a small green three-legged frog to be exact. Stink manages to capture the frog and then he shows it to Judy and his friends. They all tell him that he cannot keep the frog and he does indeed let it go, but to his amazement his froggy adventures are just beginning. Back at home Stink finds another frog in one of his boots, and then a third in the bathtub. What is going on?

Later that week Stink sees even more frogs, and the sound of their croaks keep him awake at night. After their swimming lesson on Saturday, Stink’s father takes Stink, Sophie and Webster to a nature center so that they can go on a nature walk. Sophie and Webster are convinced that the walk is going to be a waste of time, but Stink is sure that it is going to be fun.

With a young man called Jasper guiding them, the three children explore a vernal pool. They see frogs, turtles, a salamander, and many other interesting things, and they also find out why Stink has been seeing frogs everywhere. Apparently the frogs are losing their natural habitat due to human development, so they are turning up in all kinds of places where frogs really don’t belong. In addition, many of that have abnormalities because their remaining natural habitats are being poisoned by pollution.  Jasper invites Stink to participate in the First Annual Frog Neck Lake Frog Count the next Friday night, and not surprisingly Stink is eager to go.

For days before the count, Stink works hard to learn how to identify different frog calls. He is going to need to know how to identify the frogs he hears during the count. Then, at last it is Friday evening and Stink, Sophie and Webster join the group of frog-loving people who are going to find out what the local frog population numbers are like. Stink never imagines that this adventure is going to lead to him having an even bigger one; a freaky frog adventure the likes of which have never been seen before.

When Stink gets interested in something he really gets interested in it. In this eighth Stink adventure the boy who loves zombies, stinky sneakers and guinea pigs develops a deep interest in frogs, and without even meaning to he also overcomes one of his biggest fears. Young readers are going to enjoy following Stinks adventures, and they will also learn a little about what it means to be an active conservationist.