Author & Illustrator: Antoinette Portis
Age Level: 3-6 Years
Publishers: Roaring Book Press
This is a very entertaining book about choosing your own path in life. Froodle sends a meaningful message using simple and funny text and striking illustrations.
The animals and birds in the neighborhood go about behaving exactly as they should. The crow says ‘caw’, the dove says ‘coo’, the cardinal ‘chips’ and the little brown bird says ‘peep’. How long can one follow the same path? The inevitable happens.
Feeling constrained by the routine, one day the little brown bird decides to break into a different tune. The unpredictability of it shocks her friends and they try to force her to conform. But it is hard even for them to stem the originality once it gets started. The cardinal and the dove find themselves drawn to singing new tunes. Now all they have to do is see if the crow will join them.
But will he or won’t he? Read the book to find how the little brown bird shakes up the neighborhood.
My daughter fell in love with the little brown bird. “She is the littlest, and she is the first one to start, Mama!” The nonsense words (the sounds the animals make) in the book are great for decoding practice. The text is short enough for my daughter to have memorized most of it (and to improvise when she forgets). She now reads the book to her brother and together they make up their own silly (nonsense) words when they get to those pages. Some of the humor in the book is more for adults, but the idea of making up silly words gets to little kids.
Antoinette Portis’ artwork is a perfect fit for the story. My favorite was the spread with the hedges as the day comes to an end. It creates just the right level of suspense, as we wait with the other birds to see if the crow will be silly or not.
If you’d like to watch a read aloud of Froodle on youtube, here it is: