The Mysterious Tadpole
Steven Kellogg ~ Dial, 1977
While I still have a love/hate relationship with all things Kellogg, my son absolutely adores him. His current Kellogg-drawn favorite is The Day the Goose Got Loose (that dream sequence with the geese flying through the sky sends the boy into convulsions of delight) though I'm partial to this sweet story of the Loch Ness variety... when Louis is gifted a tadpole for his birthday from his uncle who lives in Scotland, he takes it to show-and-tell..."Class, this is a tadpole," said Mrs. Shelbert. She asked Louis to bring it back often so they could all watch it become a frog. Louis named the tadpole Alphonse. Every day Alphonse ate several cheeseburgers. Louis found that he was eager to learn. When Alphonse became too big for his jar, Louise moved him to the sink. After Alphonse outgrew the sink, Louis's parents agreed to let him use the bathtub. One day Mrs. Shelbert decided that Alphonse was not turning into an ordinary frog. She asked Louis to stop bringing him to school.Not unlike A Fish Out of Water, soon Alphonse is in dire need of someplace to live. Louis enlists the help of (who else!?!) the local librarian who guesses the creature's true origin, and together they hatch a plan to score some sunken pirate booty to pay for a private swimming pool for Alphonse. To say that the creature is beyond cute is an understatement, and the well of love the little boy shows toward it is heartwarming to say the least. Magic, adventure and sweetness, the perfect combination for wee little reader who wants it all.(I thrifted this autographed copy, but apparently you can get your own personalized Kellogg doodle through The Essex Inn Bookstore.)
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