Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The Frog in the Well

The Frog in the Well
Alvin Tresselt ~ Roger Duvoisin ~ Lothrop, Lee & Shepard, 1958

Just when I thought there were no more Duvoisin titles to love (much less a Tresselt and Duvoisin book).... Let it be said, officially, right here and right now.... The Frog in the Well might be my favorite Duvoisin, ever. (Sorry, Petunia.) Granted, there are probably dozens of his books out there I haven't seen (A Little Boy Was Drawing, anyone?), still... this one is pretty darn awesome. (Oh, and PS... if anyone happens to have A Little Boy Was Drawing, that book would mint you about $1,500 and a chance to do a super amazing guest post here.... but anywho...)

The Swiss-born artist, Duvoisin, was a lover of animals of all sorts, and to pick up any of his books, you immediately connect to the joy he found in the animal kingdom. Each and every character is drawn with incredible kindness and reverence.

In what could easily be a story about space exploration, we meet a happy frog who lives in the bottom of a well and thinks the world consists of only mossy rocks, a clear pool, and a ceiling of blue sky, until one day all the water in his well evaporates. He climbs the wall to discover...

But what was this? Trees blowing in a blowy wind. Sunshine on his shiny green back. And a clump of daisies, all white and yellow! The little frog was so surprised that he just sat and blinked. But at that moment a most attractive bug lighted on a daisy face. "That's better," he said as he finished off the bug. "And now that I have come to the end of the world I think I'll look around a bit."

Ah, the end of the world is only what we perceive it to be, as he meets a series of creatures who think the world ends just beyond their pasture or patch of the woods. But it isn't until the frog finds his own kind that the true miracle occurs.

"A foolish frog can be happy all alone at the bottom of a well, but a clever frog can be much happier out here."

And with that he sprang up into the air with his long strong legs. It was the longest leap he had ever made, and he landed -- plop -- right in the middle of a million singing frogs!

Such a wonderful story and the visual perspectives throughout are divine.

What a master.

Also by:
Petunia, Beware!
The Rain Puddle
A Child's Garden of Verses
Veronica and the Birthday Present
Donkey Donkey
Petunia's Christmas
The Old Bullfrog
Petunia Takes a Trip
Our Veronica Goes to Petunia's Farm
The Mitten
The Land of Lost Buttons
White Snow Bright Snow
Bonnie Bess the Weathervane Horse
A Thousand Lights and Fireflies


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Dan Moynihan said...

So beautiful! . . . And requested from interlibrary loan. Yes!

OnePerfectDay said...

This sounds so good!
I love those illustrations!
It just makes me want to draw....

Paula said...

so beautiful and one of the few of his that I don't have...another goes on the list.

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