Early Readers,  Little Book,  Picture books

Tadpole's Promise

Jeanne Willis and Tony Ross (illustrator)
The award-winning, unpredictable picture book from this best-selling author/artist team is now available for the first time in paperback. Tadpole loves his rainbow friend, the caterpillar, and she tells him she loves everything about him. “Promise that you will never change,” she says. But as the seasons pass and he matures, his legs grow, and then his armsand what happens to his beautiful rainbow friend? As he sits on his lily pad, digesting a butterfly, Tadpole little realizes that now he will never know! Follow the predictable changes of a tadpole and a caterpillar to their natural conclusion in this award winning picture book.
A rainbow and a pearl fell in love. The rainbow requested her beloved pearl, to promise to never change. Unfortunately Pearl was destined to break his promise, as he was a tadpole and his love Rainbow, a caterpillar.
Obviously not a fan of Shakespeare’s Sonnet 116 (“…Love is not love which alters when it alteration finds…” ) Rainbow becomes increasingly distressed and peeved at the physical changes she observes in her beau each time they meet. Pearl begs forgiveness wanting only to be with his love.
Eventually her disappointment is such that Rainbow has to take herself away to nurse her disappointment, and cries herself to sleep.
Awaking from her sleep a changed caterpillar (literally, as she is now a butterfly), she decides to forgive Pearl and give their love another chance. Fluttering down to the water’s edge she spots a lone frog…. and the fickle insect gets her comeuppance!
While you could say that this book is educational about transformation in nature and the food chain – I simply love this book for its black humour and I can’t help but smile every time I read it!
My four year old, like many of her peers, went through a phase where she was fascinated with the idea of death. We had to watch a particular scene in The Lion King over and over again, answer questions about her grandmothers passing and had many meal time conversations about how farmyard favourites make it on to her dinner plate. Tadpoles Promise helped to satisfy some of this morbid curiosity.
Verdict:If your child has a taste for the macabre that The Old Woman Who Swallowed A Fly just can’t satisfy then this is the book for you.
Reviewed by Caroline

Publisher: Andersen Press
Publication Date: March 2005
Format: Paperback
Pages: 32
Genre: Picture book, life cycles
Age: Picture Books, Early Readers
Reviewer: Caroline
Source: Own Copy
Challenge: British Book

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