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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
There’s more than one way to fly. You can be a bird or a plane and soar through the sky. Or, you can be someone really special and do something really amazing, and then your spirit will be soaring high. Lulu is a young frog. She loves the mornings when she can lie on a log sunning herself next to Mama. She always has lots of questions for Mama, but one day, quite concerned, she asks Mama, “Why is it that I have no fur? Why can’t I fly into the sky or run fast? Why can’t I climb a tree? Why aren’t I pretty or special?” Mama is wise in her chosen words, but it’s Lulu that has to come to terms with how special and beautiful she is. When one of her friends is in trouble, Lulu is the only one who can help and it’s not by having fur or running fast or flying high in the sky.
Kristy Jo Volchko’s picture book story, Frogs Can Fly, is a charming look at differences and how each of our differences make us special, unique and, yes, beautiful. Whilst we all have that urge, on occasion, to want to be something that we’re not, to be like the person next door or down the street, sometimes it takes a real challenge that only we can address to make us realize that what we have is more than enough and that we should love ourselves for who we are. The plot develops with ease as Lulu spends time alternately with her mother asking questions and with her many friends playing in and around the pond. The illustrations are spectacular, bold and brilliant and these certainly help carry the story along. Told with love and compassion in a way that will make young readers understand how truly special and beautiful we all are, even if we can’t fly or run fast.