Book review: The Mysterious Tadpole


Author & Illustrator: Steven Kellogg
Age level: 5 to 8 years
Publishers: Puffin Books; Reprint edition (June 17, 2004)
ISBN: 9780142401408

book review - the mysterious tadpole

Steven Kellogg is a favorite in our home. There is something slightly quirky about all his books that we just love. We got the 25th anniversary edition of this classic, The Mysterious Tadpole, from the library. I have to say it didn’t disappoint us one bit!

book review - the mysterious tadpole

Louis’ uncle McAllister gives them a tadpole for his birthday. You know something is up when you see Uncle McAllister all dressed up in his plaids. Can the gift really be an innocent tadpole?

I like how Kellogg always includes classroom settings. Lewis takes the tadpole to school much to the delight of his teacher and his classmates. His teacher asks him to bring the tadpole every week to see how it changes. The tadpole changes all right, just not the way they thought it would!

After a few weeks the teacher is not so sure she wants it back in class but Louis’ friends enjoy climbing and sliding on it!

The tadpole grows, and grows, and grows, until he becomes too big for his home. Louis’ parents want him to give it away to a zoo. Louis is worried—he doesn’t want to put his friend in a cage. Fear not! He solves the mystery of the tadpole that is not a tadpole, and finds a friendlier place for his pet with the help of Mrs. Seevers.

book review - the mysterious tadpole

It’s been a whole year and up to the Uncle McAllister comes visiting with a new present on Louis’ birthday! What can it be this time?

Now my daughter wants a tadpole!

We enjoyed this video from the PBS ‘Author Visits’ series. Hope you do too:


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