Have you ever driven past a pond and heard a symphony of frog croaks? Well, you were probably hearing those frogs’ regional accents. (Yes, their accents!). Maybe you’re familiar with tadpoles as part of the frog life cycle but did you know out of 2000 eggs, only five will make it to adulthood? (Don’t worry, not only have frogs adapted but they’ve flourished!) There is so much to learn about frogs and Liz Prince’s Frogs: Awesome Amphibians, the latest entry into FirstSecond’s Science Comics series, has no shortage of them.
Fran’s a city kid until one of their dads gets a new job and the whole family moves out to the country. It’s quiet, there’s no one around, and the only thing for them to do is sit by the pond through the trees of their backyard, missing their friends back home. That is, until they meet a talking tadpole in said pond and find themself in Professor Sal A. Mander’s class at Amphibian Academy. The professor is an upright talking salamander who wears glasses and a jacket, just as one would expect at such a school.
Before they know it, Fran’s learning all the ins and outs of amphibians, frogs’ particular classification of cold-blooded vertebrates. This graphic novel is packed to the gills with fascinating frog facts! Fran transports to the Andes Mountains to meet the Lake Titicaca frog, watches a play about the four life stages of an amphibian, and visits the African tropical savannah to discover the role water plays in some frogs’ home environments. They even learn how they can help keep frogs safe and thriving in their very own town!
Prince’s enthusiasm and adorations of frogs shines throughout Science Comics: Frogs. It is very heavy on the information and often goes into detail overload, which will make frog fan readers not want to put this graphic novel down. Not all of the facts are pretty and some more sensitive readers may find themselves slightly grossed out. Fran will be relatable to readers, as even they can’t always hide their disgust at some of the grosser info. Prince’s art style is bright and fun so even the slightly difficult portions are more palatable to younger readers.
Like others in the Science Comics series, the book begins with an introduction from a scientist and ends with additional information for anyone looking to learn more. Frogs: Awesome Amphibians ends with a glossary, as well as a mini comic featuring Prince. She encourages readers to take action and find local Big Night projects, where frog appreciators of all ages come together to help the creatures cross busy roads during their yearly migrations.
Frogs are a common classroom and library pet, so this book is recommended to those that have one, as it’s a handy and colorful guide for readers of all ages who want to learn more. It would also be a great supplement for students learning about the animal kingdom at large and looking for a more in-depth deep dive on a specific vertebrate.
There’s so much to learn about these amazing amphibians, as the title suggests, and Science Comics: Frogs fits nicely both into this ongoing series and onto your non-fiction graphic novel shelf for middle grade readers.
Science Comics: Frogs Awesome Amphibians Vol.
By Liz Prince
Macmillan First Second, 2023
Publisher Age Rating: 9-13
NFNT Age Recommendation: Middle Grade (7-11), Tween (10-13)