“Let’s Read!” Friend, July 1971, 37
This story, written in 1907, is based on a true story. It was never illustrated by Beatrix Potter and it was only after her death that the manuscript for this enchanting tale was found.
The lovely, full-color illustrations by Marie Angel are appropriate. This is just a mini-volume, as are all the Peter Rabbit books written and illustrated by Miss Potter.
“Oysters are creatures without any features” is the kind of humor found in this delightful book. Other animals appearing in this volume of poetry are camels, bears, hippopotamuses, and aardvarks.
Ellen Grae lives with Mrs. McGruder in the small town of Thicket so that she may go to the same school her father attended. She has a terrific imagination and tells such interesting stories that most people think she has made them up. Ellen; Grover, a friend who is one year older than Ellen; Ira, a friendly, misunderstood, silent man; and his goat, Missouri, have interesting adventures together. Ellen finds out about a strange secret. She knows that should anyone else find out about this secret, Ira would be in serious trouble. What Ellen decides to do makes good reading.
This book is one of the most beautiful picture books in print. The many double pages of full-color illustrations enhance the timeless story of the little drab gray bird that sings for the Emperor. The story is well told; the illustrations are priceless.
Mr. Lionni’s books are filled with brilliant color and an understanding of nature. This, his latest, book is about a tadpole that grows into a frog. Frog returns to tell Fish about the great world outside of the water. Fish cannot understand what everything looks like, and with great effort, he tries to see for himself. With the help of Frog, Fish is saved from death. Fish then realizes that Frog is Frog and Fish is Fish. Mr. Lionni’s works have been runners-up for the Caldecott Medal four times.