Tuesday, 3 January 2017
CHILDREN'S BOOK REVIEW: THE FROG WHO WAS BLUE BY FAIZ KERMANI
The Frog who Was Blue
Author: Faiz Kermani
Publisher: Matador Books
Cover Artist/Interior Illustrator: Naomi Powell
Reviewed by: Sandra Scholes
Biriwita, the blue frog is considered normal in his own neck of the woods, but in Malawi, where green frogs are the norm, he might be thought of as unusual. This theory is tested when Biriwita is accepted to Croak College, the finest school for the finest frogs. He is elated at being accepted, until he sees all the other frogs - they're green and see him as weird, an outsider who will never be accepted by them as one of their own.
Being ridiculed by the other frogs makes him sad. He sees them playing in the water and wishes he could be with them having fun, happy and content with being part of a group. A group he will never be in. Sadness aside, there is one thing that happens that tips the balance and ends with Biriwita showing the frogs it doesn't matter what colour you are.
From the author of The Frog in the Skyscraper and Bob's Mythological Garden, Faiz Kermani has written this as part of an awareness on the plight of children in Africa. The WMF, World Medical Fund focuses on Africa's poorest and most vulnerable children, mainly AIDS orphans and maintains a continuous battle against malaria.
Faiz writes from the heart here, telling children that it doesn't matter what colour someone is, they can make a difference, a real contribution to society and be accepted by all as a person. I liked the title's play on words and the fact it was part story and part poetry that added an extra boost to make it appeal to children. The only issue I had with the book was the artwork, it looked too sketchy and slapdash for the book, but overall it is a fun book to read with blue text and an even bluer frog!