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City Dog, Country Frog
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
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.
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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.
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