National Poetry Month Kid Lit Review of “Lizards, Frogs, and Polliwogs” by Douglas Florian

What’s so great about Douglas Florian is that he excels at both writing and illustrations, and that he makes poetry so much fun. Here he takes a topic bound to appeal to many kids, which concerns those living things that go slithering, hopping, and moseying along in the grass or the sand, and that so fascinate people, especially little ones.


His poetry is quite entertaining. Here is what he says about the cobra, for example:

“It’s wise to stay clear
Of the dangerous cobra.
All months of the year,
Including Octobra.”

As someone who used to follow Gila Monsters around whenever I was lucky enough to see one in Tucson, I appreciated this poem about them because it’s so true:

“They call me monster just because
I have short legs and clumsy claws,
And poison in my jaws,
And look
Like someone’s composition book.”


Kids will even learn some things about amphibians and reptiles painlessly and fun:

“We polliwoggle.
We polliwiggle.
We shake in lakes,
Make wakes,
And wriggle.
We quiver,
We shiver,
We jiggle,
We jog.
We’re hearing
To turn ourselves
Into a frog.”

The illustrations, whimsical and clever, are done in watercolor on primed brown paper bags with collage. My favorite is the one of the box turtle.


Evaluation: I don’t think anyone can go wrong by choosing a poetry book written and illustrated by Douglas Florian.

Rating: 4/5

Published by Harcourt, Inc., 2001

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5 Responses to National Poetry Month Kid Lit Review of “Lizards, Frogs, and Polliwogs” by Douglas Florian

  1. Beth F says:

    This looks way too fun … it’s just kind of poetry my nieces and nephews liked when they were little ones.

  2. BermudaOnion says:

    Oh yes, that’s just the kind of poetry Vance loved as a kid.

  3. Trish says:

    OMG! Just put this on my library list. I bet Elle will love it. She LOVES finding all of the creepy crawly things while we’re in the garden. Sounds like such fun!

  4. sagustocox says:

    This looks fantastic!

  5. Vicki says:

    I bet my grandson would love this book. I’ll be on the lookout for it.

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