Book Review: Doc Wilde and the Frogs of Doom by Tim Byrd
Travis sits down to review the new middle grade adventure Doc Wilde and the Frogs of Doom. He decides to incorporate the book’s cliffhanger-heavy style into the review when there is a knock at the door. He gets up as the knocking becomes more urgent. When Travis opens the door, he canâ€™t believe what he sees.
It is his old college roommate Greg. Average height with dark hair, Greg anxiously asks what books Travis has been reading lately. Surprised, but relieved, Travis offers his friend a refreshment and begins to tell Greg about Doc Wilde. After a few seconds, without warning, Greg spits out his drink all over the living room.
â€œA secret civilization of mutated manfrogs?â€ Greg exclaims, after apologizing for making a mess.
â€œIndeedâ€, says Travis. â€œThey live in the jungles of South America, in a tiny country called the Republic of Hildalgo. They are after an object that, in their evil hands, could bring the world to its knees.â€
â€œThe object is a small carved emerald frog. It holds the key to bringing their leader, Frogon, back from another dimension. Thereâ€™s just one problem. One BIG problem.”
â€œThe frog is in the possession of the world renowned adventurer Doc Wilde. Along with his daughter Wren, son Brian, Phineas Bartlett (attorney), and Declan mac Coul (driver/pilot), Doc is lured to Hidalgo to find his father, who has been kidnapped. It is there that the powers of the emerald frog reveal themselves, taking over the body of Declan mac Coul, and putting the fate of the world in danger.â€
â€œHold on!â€ says Greg, â€œI have a very important question to ask youâ€.
â€œWill kids like it?â€ asks Greg.
â€œMany willâ€, Travis responds. â€œItâ€™s full of excitement, gadgets, and gross frogs. Reluctant readers will likely approve of the short chapters and no-nonsense plot pacing.â€ Travis looks around, and continues, â€œBut thereâ€™s one more thing.â€ Greg leans in and listens carefully to what comes next.
â€œInspired by the Doc Savage pulp adventures from the ’30s and ’40s, Doc Wilde and his family are heroes in the classic sense: smart, athletic, strong, well-traveled, and good-looking. The author, aware of how impossible this is, presents these over-the-top characters with a bit of subtle humor, which every kid wonâ€™t pick up on. This fact isn’t likely to deter many, however.”
Greg takes this all in and gives the cover a thoughtful glance. After a couple seconds of careful though, he blurts out “Don Johnson!”
“What?” says a confused Travis.
“Doc Wilde. He kinda looks like Don Johnson on the cover. A nice touch. Anyway, sounds like this is an adventure that young readers will approve of. Mind if I give it a read?”
Travis slowly puts out an open hand. “As soon as I review it.”
Find this book at your local library with WorldCat.
About Travis Jonker
Travis Jonker is an elementary school librarian in Michigan. He writes reviews (and the occasional article or two) for School Library Journal and is a member of the 2014 Caldecott committee. You can email Travis at email@example.com, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.
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