A cast of delightful characters make this a great book to read aloud.
Buggy and the Blue Frog by Renee Smith is a children’s picture book about the importance of being yourself. This cute story has a good moral with lovable characters.
Buggy is a little girl that befriends a blue frog named Wiley. Wiley’s friends are being mean to him because he is blue instead of green and is larger than them. Buggy takes Wiley to visit some of her friends, such as the former opera singer Mrs. Smelly Cat, Chocolate the monkey, BeeBee the bee, and wise Mr. Weatherby, the owl. Each friend, except Mr. Weatherby, gives Wiley something—such as a cape, a tail, or wings—to make his friends like him. Mr. Weatherby instead gives Wiley sound advice: he should tell his friends how they are making him feel, and he is special just being himself.
Smith’s characters are enjoyable, each with their own personality. Buggy is energetic and full of ideas, Mrs. Smelly Cat is giving and kind, and BeeBee is a hard worker. Some of the characters’ nature comes out wonderfully in their dialogue, such as the singing Mrs. Smelly Cat: “‘Why sure my little Buggy. It would be my plea-eh-sure,’ said Mrs. Smelly Cat in her fancy singing voice.”
LeAnne DeShazo’s colored pencil illustrations depict the characters well with the personalities that Smith gave them. However, the colors appear washed out and flat, lacking texture.
Internal layout for the book includes a cream border with text and illustrations set inside. At times it appears the drawings were stretched or squished during layout, and there’s one instance where the illustration was set over the text, cutting off the bottoms of letters. Numerous punctuation errors hinder readability.
With delightful characters and a great moral, Buggy and the Blue Frog will please children. If parents can get through the punctuation errors, this is a great read-aloud book to use with fun voices.
Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The author of this book provided free copies of the book and paid a small fee to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. Foreword Reviews and Clarion Reviews make no guarantee that the author will receive a positive review. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.