Toad Road

Young Adult - Fantasy - General
139 Pages
Reviewed on 02/17/2020
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by K.J. Simmill for Readers' Favorite

In Daryl Sherfey's Toad Road, Wart knew he was destined for greatness if only he didn't have to prove himself. Whenever he tried something always went wrong and he became a laughing stock; not that he was ever taken seriously, to begin with. His size had always been a sore point. Smaller than his peers, he felt the need to be accepted, so guard duty was his chance to do just that. The pond had been shrinking, the creek running dry. Only the brave stood guard, which is why he had never been asked, but when Jumbles returned with news about a suspicious plot by the toads, Wart finds himself on his biggest adventure yet. He may be small in stature, but his heart and focus are enormous, and he will need all his courage to face what is to come.

Through the misadventures of Wart, in Daryl Sherfey's Toad Road, young readers are given a glimpse into the natural habitat of frogs, and the environments they thrive in. Great scene setting conjures up vivid images, leaving a firm picture in the mind while not becoming too overwhelming for younger readers. The diverse and entertaining characters not only hold interest and drive the story forward but also have their own messages which a child can easily pick up on and be inspired by. There are so many little pieces of factual information woven in that readers learn without even realizing as they follow the exciting adventure. Food chains, evolution, survival, and character are but a few topics touched upon in this charming children's book. The level makes it suitable for youngsters transitioning from picture books and the involved plot will appeal to older children. But this is not something only to be enjoyed by children; it possesses a whimsical charm that will appeal to adults looking for a fun read to share with the family. Action, adventure, humor, and danger fill each page, propelling you through the wondrous adventure that in some ways reminded me just a little of The Wind in the Willows.

K.C. Finn

Toad Road is a work of fiction in the animal fantasy genre and was penned for middle grade and teen readers by author Daryl Sherfey. This is an interesting and allegorical story that has many lessons to teach during its adventurous plot. The events of the tale begin at a familiar creek where many frogs live, but in one fateful season, the rain never comes to return the creek to its full glory. So begin the adventures of four frog volunteers to search for water, and the tests they will face along the way teach them the true values of strength, solidarity and the will to succeed against all odds.

Author Daryl Sherfey has created an animal fantasy fable that speaks to everyone who enjoyed classic tales like Martin the Warrior and Watership Down. Highly suited to younger audiences for its thematic content, the messages between the lines are sophisticated and will also appeal to many adult readers looking to harken back to a nostalgic style of storytelling from their own childhoods. Character development is a key factor which Sherfey has clearly worked very hard on in order to humanize the central figures and make their needs relatable to the readership, but also to maintain a balance between their true nature as frogs and the impact that we as people can have on their natural world. Overall, Toad Road is an accomplished work of fiction that is sure to be enjoyed again and again by fans of quest-style fantasy stories.