Title: A Frog Named Waldor
Author: Jacqueline Rankine-Van Wassenhoven
Illustrator: Annie Zhang
Released: January 14, 2008
ISBN 10 – 1424199263
ISBN 13 – 978-1424199266
A Frog Named Waldor is a sweet children’s picture book about a little girl named Jennifer who loves to read, particularly books about water fairies. Now, as I love fairies and talking frogs are irresistible, I was very intrigued by the premise of this story. On a hot July afternoon, Jennifer takes her book to a favourite spot by a pond near the village where she lives to enjoy some quiet reading time when she is quite surprised to make the acquaintance of Waldor, the talking frog. They talk about water fairies, and through a magical twist of fate, Waldor is just the creature with the power to introduce Jennifer to some real, charming water fairies that he knows!
I believe that author Jacqueline Rankine-Van Wassenhoven had excellent intentions for this book. There are some lovely illustrations by Annie Zhang (my favourite being the one that depicts Jennifer and Waldor dancing at a musical fairy jam amongst the toadstools). However, the story ends very abruptly, seems unfinished, and doesn’t quite hit the mark, although it is clear that the author has a lot of love for the subject matter.
The book is only 12 pages long, and of those 12 pages, there are five adorable, colourful, full-page illustrations. My niece and nephew, who are 7-years-old enjoyed it and thought Waldor was pretty cool, but they wanted to know more about him. This story is more about Jennifer and the fairies than about Waldor, so the book’s title is misleading. They also liked the idea of the magic bulrushes that allowed Jennifer to ride on the back of Mrs. Nightingale, who carried her home.
For some reason, this book is listed on Chapters.Indigo.ca as costing $32.95, which is extraordinarily expensive for a 12-page picture book. It also looks pretty overpriced at other online booksellers’ sites. If those prices are correct, I cannot recommend that you buy this book.