City Dog, Country Frog

by Mo Willems (Author) Jon J Muth (Illustrator)

City Dog, Country Frog
Reading Level: 2nd − 3rd Grade
In spring, when City Dog runs free in the country for the first time, he spots Country Frog sitting on a rock, waiting for a friend. "You'll do," Frog says, and together they play Country Frog games. In summer, they meet again and play City Dog games. Through the seasons, whenever City Dog visits the country he runs straight for Country Frog's rock. In winter, things change for City Dog and Country Frog. Come spring, friendship blooms again, a little different this time.


School Library Journal

Starred Review
PreS-Gr 2Spare, poignant, and ultimately upbeat, this tale depicts the natural cycle of friendship from an enthusiastic first encounter to contented companionship to the heartbreak of loss and eventual emotional renewal. Presented with a comfortingly consistent narrative structure, the events are set against the backdrop of the changing seasons, reassuring readers that winter will turn again to spring, sadness to joy. In "spring," City Dog runs free in the countryside for the first time ever and discovers an unfamiliar creature perched on a rock. Asked, "What are you doing?" Country Frog smiles and replies, "Waiting for a friend]but "you'll" do." The two play Country Frog games ("jumping and splashing and croaking") and when reunited in "summer," they enjoy City Dog pastimes ("sniffing and fetching and barking"). In "fall," Country Frog is tired, so the friends spend their time remembering. When City Dog arrives again in "winter," Country Frog is nowhere to be found (a wordless spread shows the pooch sitting on the rock, looking small and forlorn against a stark winterscape). In "spring again," a sad-looking City Dog befriends another critter with a familiar line, and then beams "a froggy smile" (shown in close-up, this warmly illustrated grin guarantees that Country Frog will not be forgotten). Making expert use of color and texture, Muth's expressive paintings clearly convey the tale's emotional nuances. This understated picture book allows plenty of room for young readers to interpret the animals' feelings for themselves and perhaps discuss their own emotions."Joy Fleishhacker", School Library Journal Copyright 2010 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Publishers Weekly

Starred Review
Muth (Zen Shorts) sets a limpid rural scene for Willems's (Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed) two unlikely friends in this tranquil tale of change. One spring day, redolent with fresh yellow-greens and pale blues, City Dog tastes life "without a leash!" Exploring a reedy pond, he meets Country Frog, who teaches him "jumping and splashing and croaking." When summer arrives, City Dog demonstrates "sniffing and fetching and barking." Fall brings orange-gold foliage and a brown cast to Country Frog's emerald skin. In wintertime, City Dog trots through the snow to find Country Frog's favorite rock unoccupied. A closing chapter, "spring again," shows City Dog encountering another animal and repeating the same greeting Country Frog met him with the year before. Willems's concise sentences, paired with joking illustrations in his other works, lose their hilarity--but gain significant emotional weight--when matched with Muth's watercolors. Pink blossoms and red maple leaves allude to Japanese art; Muth pictures Country Frog as a wise tutor who tosses a stick for his apprentice and, in a rain shower, protectively holds a leaf over the dog. The understated episodes acknowledge the transitory nature of the seasons and of life itself. Ages 36. (June) Copyright 2010 Publishers Weekly Used with permission.

Review quotes

Muth (Zen Shorts) sets a limpid rural scene for Willems's (Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed) two unlikely friends in this tranquil tale of change. One spring day, redolent with fresh yellow-greens and pale blues, City Dog tastes life "without a leash!" Exploring a reedy pond, he meets Country Frog, who teaches him "jumping and splashing and croaking." When summer arrives, City Dog demonstrates "sniffing and fetching and barking." Fall brings orange-gold foliage and a brown cast to Country Frog's emerald skin. In wintertime, City Dog trots through the snow to find Country Frog's favorite rock unoccupied. A closing chapter, "spring again," shows City Dog encountering another animal and repeating the same greeting Country Frog met him with the year before. Willems's concise sentences, paired with joking illustrations in his other works, lose their hilarity—but gain significant emotional weight—when matched with Muth's watercolors. Pink blossoms and red maple leaves allude to Japanese art; Muth pictures Country Frog as a wise tutor who tosses a stick for his apprentice and, in a rain shower, protectively holds a leaf over the dog. The understated episodes acknowledge the transitory nature of the seasons and of life itself. PW"
Mo Willems
Charise Mericle Harper (www.chariseharper.com)has created many books for children, including Cupcake, Go! Go! Stop!, Princess Patty MeetsHer Match, and the Just Grace and Fashion Kitty series. Charise lives with her family in Portland, Oregon.
Mo Willems, a New York Times #1 best-selling author and illustrator, has been awarded a Caldecott Honor on three occasions, for Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!, Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale, and Knuffle Bunny Too: A Case of Mistaken Identity. His celebrated Elephant & Piggie series has won two Theodor Seuss Geisel Medals and five Geisel Honors. Other favorites include Leonardo, the Terrible Monster and The Story of Diva and Flea.
Mo began his career as a writer and animator on Sesame Street, where he garnered six Emmy Awards. He lives with his family in Massachusetts.

See above.

Classification
Fiction
ISBN-13
9781423103004
Lexile Measure
490L
Guided Reading Level
K
Publication date
June 20, 2010
Series
-
New England Book Award
Winner 2010 - 2010
Capitol Choices: Noteworthy Books for Children and Teens
Recommended 2011 - 2011
Colorado Children's Book Award
Nominee 2012 - 2012
North Carolina Children's Book Award
Nominee 2012 - 2012
Charlotte Award
Nominee 2012 - 2012
Ladybug Picture Book Award
Nominee 2011 - 2011
Keystone to Reading Book Award
Nominee 2012 - 2012
Nevada Young Readers' Award
Nominee 2012 - 2012
Virginia Readers Choice Award
Nominee 2013 - 2013
Beehive Awards
Nominee 2012 - 2012
Young Hoosier Book Award
Nominee 2013 - 2013
South Carolina Childrens, Junior and Young Adult Book Award
Nominee 2012 - 2013
California Young Reader Medal
Nominee 2015 - 2015
Florida Children's Book Award
Honor Book 2014 - 2014
Charlotte Zolotow Award
Honor Book 2011 - 2011
Grand Canyon Reader Award
Nominee 2014 - 2014

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