A yearning to fly has been an ongoing theme for Eric Drachman, author of “A Frog Thing”, our featured Little Kids Book Club title #15.
Collaborating with illustrator James Muscarello, Eric was able to marry his two passions, flying and scuba diving, into this award winning picture book. The starring character, Frank the frog, reminds us to hold on to our dreams, while remaining open to different winning outcomes. Read on!
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“Frank wanted to fly
But he was a frog
And Frogs can’t fly.”
Sitting on a lily pad Frank eyed a baby bird splash into the pond. Quickly diving below the surface, he rescued the struggling baby and swam her back to shore.
The relieved and thankful mother bird applauded Frank for his aquatic ability, asking him, "How can I ever repay you?" Hearing that Frank wanted to "fly", she arranged to take him for the ride of his life. Two great outcomes; Frank's dream to fly came true and he learned to embrace what he did best…swim.
The Story Behind The Story
When Eric Drachman author of “A Frog Thing,” was a little boy he would stick his hand out the window of a moving car and dream of flying. Decades later Eric still loves to fly. He’s been on a hot air balloon, tried hang gliding and took flight in an open cockpit airplane. Eric was inspired to write a children's book about flying after visiting the Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome Museum in New York.
Eric loves scuba diving too. "Under water you can move in 3 dimensions. It feels the most like flying.”
Read and Explore
- A professional scuba diver is often called a "frogman."
- Eric sent us this photo from a recent underwater dive, where he felt like he was flying. Compare this image to the last illustration in the book, where Frank the frog is suspended in the water floating up towards the sky.
- There are approximately 4000 different species of frogs that live around the world.
- The Goliath Frog is the largest species and can grow up to one foot long and weigh 7 pounds, the same size of a small cat.
- "A Frog Thing" comes with an audio CD. Eric created swimming sound affects, by holding the microphone up to splashing water in his bathtub. The voices and gribbits are Eric's family members and friends.
- All frogs do NOT sound alike. Play this video to hear just a few of the many different frog calls.
- In addition to writing and publishing books, Eric is also an actor and writes and produces 1 minute stories for KCRW public radio called SoundsLA. Different frogs make different sounds...and so do people. Listen up!
Ask your child:
- Like Frank, is there something special that YOU would like to accomplish?
- What does “aerodynamic” mean? (Something that is shaped in a way to move through the air with ease.)
- What are webbed feet? (A thin membrane of skin between the toes that creates webbing. Webbed feet help frogs swim by pushing water away in the same way flippers help people swim.)
- When Frank told his parents that he wanted to fly, why do you think there was a long silence? (Open ended. Perhaps they did not want to discourage Frank by telling him that frogs don’t fly…or they just didn’t know what to say?)
- If frogs don’t fly, what do they do? (Frogs swim and hop.)
- Frank “swooped down……and swam her back to shore…” Where is the shore? (Where the water meets the land.)
- What words rhyme with swim? (gym, slim, dim, trim)
- Frank said, “The birds were the ones flying. I was just holding on.” Have you ever wanted to do something that turned out differently but was still ok? (Open ended.)
- Frank learned that he is a really great swimmer. What are you really good at? (open ended ?)
Thank you for joining our online read aloud Little Kids' Book Club community. If you would like to read another book encouraging your child to follow a vision, check out "The Most Magnificent Thing", book #7.