BOOK REVIEWS

Freddy the Frogcaster and the Huge Hurricane Reviews

UPDATE TIME: 2018-05-17 
Review Score: 5 out of 5 star From 64 user ratings
ISBN:1621572609
LANGUAGE:English

" Doesn't actually warrant 4 stars based on plot--but it is a valuable book that would be a good supplement to weather/hurricanes. It teaches kids facts without being factual, using a fun fictional frog character. . . " said.

"FREDDY THE FROGCASTER AND THE HUGE HURRICANE: by Janice Dean, illustrated by Russ Cox Age Range: 4-8

Budding weatherfrog Freddy makes his television debut as a hurricane roars over Lilypad.

Freddy joins his weather casting colleagues, to track Tropical Store Andrea, his first Frog News Alert goes over perfectly and his predictions are as they say “toad-ally awesome” for predicting the weather for the fun trip to the beach. It’s a good childs picture book explaining about hurricanes. A fun children’s book ages 4-8
" said.

"Freddy the Frogcaster returns to help his town and the local tv weather team face an oncoming hurricane. But can he use his skills to share what he knows or will his fear of being in the spotlight get the better of him. Dean does a nice job integrating important information about hurricanes with a fun story about Freddy. I love the fact that Freddy has what may seem to some as an unusual hobby, the weather. It's great that the adults around Freddy also encourage him in his pursuits (building his own weather station, working with the local tv meteorologist and weather reporter, etc.) This book is not only a fun story but a great way to teach about weather in a fun way. The additional information presented at the end gives additional details and places interested readers can go to for more information. " said.

"My boys are huge fans of Freddy and were delighted when I showed them I had a new book. My youngest just finished second grade and couldn’t wait to put his hands on this book, and the oldest just finished fourth grade, he loves frogs and the cover looked like it had been made just for him.
Freddy is now on summer vacation and now has more time to spend at the Frog News Network, and watch as Hurricane Andrea heads toward the Lilypad. We meet Mr. Flyswatter, he owns the local hardware store, and he reports that he is out of plywood and flashlights. We have Polly Woggins reporting on the scene, and we buckle down as the hurricane heads toward them.
What a great storyteller Janice Dean is, her use of comical names for the characters kept the kids reading and giggling. Besides treating them with the giggles she also taught them about hurricanes in a way they could understand.
Thanks Ms. Dean, please keep these books coming, we love them!
I received this book through the publisher Regnery Kids, and was not required to give a positive review.
" said.

"Fox News broadcast meteorologist, Janice Dean, has done it again. Her third title in the picture book series about Freddy the Frogcaster contains all the winning elements of her earlier entries. Aside from my having a couple of minor complaints, Freddy the Frogcaster and the Huge Hurricane is an engaging and educational story. The colorful and cartoonlike illustrations also have high appeal.

Summer vacation has just started for Freddy and his friends. A trip to the shore in the upcoming week is planned. Light wind, low humidity, and clear blue skies seem to indicate perfect weather conditions. Except what’s that big swirl of clouds on the satellite images? Oh no! The first tropical storm of the season has started. What’s even worse, it’s headed straight towards Lilypad!

Hmm, if this plot setup seems familiar, that’s because storms were also headed towards Lilypad in the first two titles. In this third title, Freddy’s family and friends no longer even need his help. Instead the town has gotten good at preparing for bad weather, having previously encountered thunderstorms and then a blizzard.

But wait! There’s a twist. Someone needs to report updates on the weather and it can’t be regular broadcaster Polly Woggins who has braved the elements long enough. Who will take her place? Will it be Freddy? The mere thought makes his voice shake. “Weather watching was one thing. But talking in front of a camera? That was a different story.”

In my opening paragraph, I mentioned that I had a couple of complaints. Dean successfully overcomes a formulaic plot with her twist, but this leaves me with an issue about her style. After initially keeping her dialog tags simple, Dean falls into the error of bloating them. Characters notice, call, explain, ask, bellow, wink, yell, report, suggest, shout, cheer, and exclaim.

On the positive side, right along with relating to Freddy’s fears, readers will get educated about weather. As Sally reports the news, readers will discover the difference between tropical storms and hurricanes. When Freddy hurries home to his family, readers will learn the basics of how to prepare for natural disasters. As the hurricane descends upon Lilypad, readers will also figure out the signs for when the eye of a storm is near. When clean-up begins the next day, readers will also grasp what types of damage storms can create.

None of these details weigh down the story. Instead Dean wisely saves more detailed explanations for back pages, where Freddy talks at length about the origins of hurricanes, defines storm surges, and provides information about how hurricanes are names and what hurricane hunters are. Dean clearly knows weather!

Finally, there is the artwork. With the onset of summer, backgrounds start out bright blue and yellow. Then as the storm brews, backgrounds become a stark contrast of bold purples and even black. The characters are larger-than life in size, as well as dramatic in their vivid greens. Award-winning illustrator Russ Cox has also provided each frog with his or her own expressive face and personality. Everything works with the artwork.

As part of a research paper last year, some of my students studied storms. Freddy the Frogcaster and the Huge Hurricanee would have made an entertaining reference for them. As for me, I’m happily collecting Dean’s whole series of weather picture books.
" said.

" Cute book! I think kids will like it. Some of the big words like barometric pressure seemed too mature for kids who like to read about frogs. They explained more in the back. I think a 3rd or 4th grader would understand this the best, but I think a 1st grader would appreciate the frog protagonist more. " said.

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