Friday, November 8, 2013

Review of An Ordinary Toad's Extraordinary Night by Joanne McGonagle

I am really happy that I was asked to read and review An Ordinary Toad's Extraordinary Night by Joanne McGonagle. I want to discuss the illustrations before I get into the meat of the book.

Her illustrator, Rachael Mahaffey, took Ms. McGonagle's words and turned them into a life of her own. The animals in the story and the surroundings of the toad's journey were brought to life as if the reader was right there on the paths journey. Rachael Mahaffey also managed to highlight  Joanne McGonagle's words through the use of scrolls placed in locations that seems natural for the illustrated surroundings. Amazing!

Moving on now to the actual read of the book. This is the story of Andrew, an ordinary toad with a not so ordinary name, who thinks his life would be better if he had been a frog.

He takes his first lone journey to visit his grandpa. Along the way he meets animal characters that show him why he is lucky to be who he is and yet, has some of those same traits as his close relatives of  the amphibian nature.

Throughout the book the author portrays the different animals with the natural elements they would have in real life and gives homage to the concept of preserving all creatures for the greater good.  This is all due to the fact that Joanne McGonagle has a love of nature and has a Masters in Zoology which is evident in her writing. It adds to the flavor of this book.

Coupled with Rachael Mahaffey's illustrations and the writing of Joanne McGonagle this book is appropriate for ages 3 plus. Younger children will love the pictures while the older child will love to read the book.
This book is a double whammy win and deserves the 5 stars it is receiving from me!

Where to find the author and illustrator:
Joanne McGonagle  

Rachael Mahaffey

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