A little boy meets a frog. The frog tells him it can squat, and the boy says he can, too; the frog says it can jump, and the boy says he can do that, too; the frog says he can wash himself, and the boy says he can, as well…it seems that the boy and the frog are in the spirit of competing. After several rounds of comparison, the frog believes the boy is their lost prince. Oh no. This doesn't sound very good for the boy. So the boy cleverly thinks of a way to prove that he is not a frog, but in fact he is just himself.
The 2nd Picture Book Award Winning Books
- Author：Xiao Mao
- Illustrator：Chen Wei & Huang Xiaomin
- Publisher：Haiyan Publishing
- Age Range：3-12
- Publication Date：12-2010
This picture book creates a distinctive, confident child character according to children's unique language and perspective. It overlaps fantasy with reality, and presents the characteristics of children as well as the fun of childhood. In the story, the boy and the frog compare their limb movements such as squatting, jumping and shouting, and describe their body parts such as eyes, mouths and bellies. It subtly blends children's sensory experiences and games into the plot, so that the child characters'characteristics are more and more concrete and solid with the progress of the story. The presentation of illustration is brilliant, including the styles and expressions of characters, the composition, the rhythm and continuity between pages, and the details such as the title page design and the frog pattern on the child's clothes. These display a mature visual narrative and communication abilities. The visual focus fully conveys the concept of children and humor. The text and image have wonderful collaboration. The story begins from the realistic world where the boy and his parents are, into the imaginative world of the boy and the frog, and then to the wonder world of the frog kingdom, and sequentially reversed eventually. If the turning point is more natural and smooth, and the word layout is less confusing, the overall effect would be even better. This seemingly simple yet enriched picture book has surprising and impressive control of childhood and withstands repeated reading and appreciation.
Sarah Chien-Hua Ko (Taiwan children's Picture Books literature critic)
Born in Huangmei, Hubei, Xiao Mao is a member of the Chinese Writer's Association. He has published over 60 children's books, including major works Xiao Mao's Fairytales《蕭袤童話》, The Courier Horse《驛馬》, XiXi《西西》and The Frog and the Boy《青蛙與男孩》. He received a Soong Ching Ling Children's Literature Award（宋慶齡兒童文學獎）, a Chen Bochui Children's Literature Award（陳伯吹兒童文學獎）, a Bingxin Children's Literature Awards（冰心兒童文學新作獎大獎）, the Feng Zikai Children's Picture Book Award 2009; a Chinese Publishing Government Book Award（中國出版政府獎圖書獎）. His work is much appreciated by his readers because of its “unrestricted imagination and masculine humour infused with wisdom”.
Chen Wei was born in 1979 in Taizhou, Jiangsu. Since a young age, he would just doodle everywhere. After graduating from the design department at the Xi'an Academy of Fine Arts, he started working at the Xi'an Taiyangwa Illustration Design Company（西安太陽娃插畫設計有限公司）as a training supervisor, hoping to create works that children would enjoy. Illustrated works include New Neighbors in a Small Town 《卡諾小鎮的新居民》, The Little Mouse in the Rose Villa 《薔薇別墅的小老鼠》.
Huang Xiaomin was born in 1979 in Ankang, Shaanxi. Since graduating from the Xi'an Academy of Fine Arts, she has worked as an illustrator in Xian Taiyangwa Illustration Design Company (西安太陽娃插畫設計有限公司). Illustrated works include The Adventures of Mili《米粒歷險記》and The Little Mouse in the Rose Villa《薔薇別墅的小老鼠》.