Cheery: The True Adventures of a Chiricahua Leopard Frog by Elizabeth W. Davidson and illustrated by Michael Hagelberg tells about a threatened species of frog found in Arizona and New Mexico.
The main character, Cheery, is a tadpole who becomes a frog and goes on a series of adventures as he faces some of the challenges of his species. What happens when he is caught in a net one night?
Told in the first person, the text walks the line between fiction and nonfiction, but Dr. Davidson has done a wonderful job of presenting the facts in a logical way. Michael Hagelberg’s illustrations are also engaging as the frogs’ eyes are very expressive.
Although this book centers on one species of frog found in Arizona, it is really the story of challenges facing amphibians throughout the world, such as loss of habitat, introduced competitors, and diseases. Be sure to pull Cheery out for units on amphibians, life cycles, as well as for discussions of threatened and endangered animals. Hopefully, by spreading the word about the importance of helping frogs, Cheery’s tale really will have a happy ending.
See Wrapped In Foil blog for the full review.