City Dog, Country Frog

Book review by
Tracy Moore, Common Sense Media
City Dog, Country Frog Book Poster Image
Touching tale of dog-frog friendship depicts cycle of life.

Parents say

age 7+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Kids will learn about the changing seasons and nature's life cycle.

Positive Messages

City Dog, Country Frog teaches positive lessons about friendship, change, loss, and renewal.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The city dog and country frog are gentle, accepting characters who make the most of their similarities, learn from each other, and teach each other everything they know about play.

Violence & Scariness

City Dog, Country Frog deals with the natural cycle of the seasons and life. Though loss isn't shown explicitly, it's implied by one friend's disappearance in winter, and the other friend's sadness at his absence.

Language

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that City Dog, Country Frog is an understated tale about the cycle of life -- in nature and among all living things. It depicts the loss of a friend, and conveys sadness at that loss. Though the book offers an upbeat message that these transitions are normal and inevitable, young readers who've recently experienced loss may find the story upsetting, while readers yet to have that experience may have questions.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byRebecca G. October 13, 2017

Parents should know that this book might be upsetting to young children

The illustrations are beautiful, and the story is really engaging. However, I shed some tears after I read it and I am 60 years old. It's quite a tribut... Continue reading

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What's the story?

City Dog meets Country Frog one day, and though neither is the friend the other was looking for, they realize they have a lot to teach each other. As the seasons pass, each animal offers his own tricks and games for outdoor play -- splashing in the spring, sniffing in the summer, and reflecting on the past during the cozy fall. Come winter, things have changed, and Frog is gone. Dog is heartbroken, but soon enough, spring returns, and with it the opportunity for new friendship.

Is it any good?

With its minimalist style and simple, emotional watercolor illustrations, CITY DOG, COUNTRY FROG is deceptively multilayered. A powerful tale of friendship, it doubles as a meditation on the lessons we teach each other, and the influence we have on others, often when we least expect it. But beyond a story of unlikely friendship, there's a heartfelt depiction of the changing seasons and the natural cycle of life: Everything grows old and eventually passes on, bringing a time for reflection and remembrance and a chance of renewal. 

Kids will love this simple story of the seasons that packs an emotional punch. Parents looking for ways to address the bigger questions of what our relationships mean, and how to manage grief, will find a simple but striking place to start here.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the the cycle of the seasons. What's your favorite season, and why? 

  • Why are books about dogs so fun to read? Do the dogs in books seem like dogs you know in real life? 

  • Do you have any friends you no longer see? What do you miss most about them?

Book details

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