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Review: Leap Back Home to Me by Lauren Thompson

Leap Back Home to Me
By Lauren Thompson
Illustrated by Matthew Cordell
McElderry Books (Simon & Schuster)
ISBN: 9781416906643
Grades PreK-1
In Stores

Look, I love subversive. I’m a fan of unorthodox. I dig meta. This century’s picture books have been kind to my tastes, with craziness around every corner. But it seems that more than any style, the simple and sweet story has a way of connecting with readers on a lasting level. Leap Back Home to Me is this sort of book. An ode to striking out on your own that keeps the focus clear and the emotion pure.

It’s a big world, and little frog is ready to explore it. After all his adventures, Mama is there to welcome him back home. He starts small – leaping around the pond, but soon enough our protagonist is leaping trees and clouds in single bounds. When little frog’s exploration reaches cosmic proportions, he returns one last time to a waiting mother.

The story uses rhyming and repetition with effective results – the story will engage young readers from page one.

Cordell’s pen and ink with watercolor artwork seamlessly matches the tone while adding a dash of gentle humor. Hand-lettered sound effects provide some nice read-aloud fodder.

Leap Back Home to Me keeps things uncomplicated and never strays into saccharine territory. A book with heart.

Review copy from the illustrator

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 scopenotes@gmail.com, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.