As is the case with many younger siblings, she longs to be like them and struggles to keep up with their speed and strength. If she doesn’t, they warn her, the evil sounding ‘Big Blub’ would surely get her.
Big Blub is the archetypal Bogeyman, waiting until everyone is asleep before coming up from the depths of the muddy pond floor to gobble them all up! This would appear to be the case as each morning Tad notices one less sibling sharing the leaf where they sleep.
When she is the only one left, Tad gets to show how brave, clever and strong she is as she comes face to face with Big Blub himself. Showing strength in the face of adversity, Tad finds it in herself to push and swim like she has never done before, leaving Big Blub to sink back down to the depths he came from.
The realisation Tad has at the end that she is now a frog and her subsequent reunion with her family adds to the charm and sentiment of the text. A lovely notion to share with younger children who are themselves in a hurry to grow up. We all get there in our own time and when we are ready. Sometimes it just takes a big leap first!
We have loved using this book with EYFS&KS1 children as the words lend themselves so well to the application of phonics (gulp, frog, swish, pond, Blub) and spelling rules for plurals and suffix endings (biggest, faster, tails). There are also some lovely Science links with nature, lifecycles, habitats and growth as well as the PSHE focus on how we are all unique and different. The images alone, will provide plenty of discussion and exploration of life below the surface of the pond.