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Home | LS5603 Children's and YA Literature | LS6643 Nonfiction for Children and YA
The Frogs Wore Red Suspenders

The Frogs wore Red Suspenders Prelutsky, Jack.  2002.  The frogs wore red suspenders.  Ill. by Petra Mathers.  Singapore:  Greenwillow Books.  ISBN:  0688167195.

Although this lighthearted collection of poetry written by Jack Prelutsky covers many topics, the prevailing themes are animals, people, and geography.  The subject of many of the poems is animals and people in funny situations, and Prelutsky also includes the names of American cities in most of the poems.  One example is Seven Snails and Seven Snakes (p.58) which tells of a swimming race through the Great Lakes from Thunder Bay to Buffalo.  In Winnie Appleton (p.14), Winnie bounces a ball from Minneapolis to St. Paul.  With a target audience of ages five and above, Prelutsky uses simple vocabulary and rhyming patterns to create jovial rhymes from one corner of the United States to the other.  Repetition is often used to create a rhythmic beat, such as when the word peanut is repeated seventeen times in the twelve line poem Peanut Peg and Peanut Pete (p.19).  Prelutsky's vivid imagination shines through as each poem shows people and animals in more creative situations.

The text and illustration for each poem are given a two-page spread in this collection, and vivid artwork by Petra Mathers fills the entire space.  Bright colors and detailed facial expressions enhance Prelutsky's poetry.  Subtle features await the careful observer, such as the presidents turning their eyes downward to get a glimpse at a visitor to Mount Rushmore (In the Heart of South Dakota p.10) and the matching petticoats of Granny Gooding and her dog (Granny Gooding p.30).  Prelutsky and Mathers create a winning team whose work will delight young children.

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Holly S.
Graduate Student at Texas Woman's University