Toad and the Boy, by Jo Miles Schuman | Dedicated Review
Review sponsored by Maine Authors Publishing
The Children’s Book Review | April 14, 2017
Written & Illustrated by Jo Miles Schuman
Age Range: 5 years and up
Paperback: 40 Pages
Publisher: Maine Authors Publishing
What to expect: Friendship, Animals, Nature
Toad and the Boy is an imaginative tale of the encounters a boy has on the way to finding his friend, a toad. The main character is a lonely boy that attempts friendship with a few other animals in nature before finding Toad, and his life experiences guide him as he learns about his surroundings and himself.
The book begins with the boy searching for a friend. At first, he comes across a turtle but after discovering that the turtle isn’t the friend he needs, the boy then spends some time with a swallow. The swallow is kind, but the boy moves on. Upon meeting toad, the two become fast friends and embark upon daily life together. In their story, they both have opportunities to save one another, and this solidifies their bond as friends:
“The boy knew he had saved Toad’s life, as Toad had saved his, and they would be true friends all their lives.”
The story’s point of view presents the boy in an imaginative eye, comparable in size to the toad. However, this whimsical book is set amidst a realistically depicted backdrop, which gives the reader a useful guide to what the natural life of a toad would be on a daily basis. Ms. Schuman’s bright illustrations provide an eye-popping accompaniment to her story, and these pictures breathe life into the companionship demonstrated by the toad and the boy. Throughout the book, the reader can see realistic illustrations of many animals, and an index at the end of the book provides a guide to the animals and plants that were shown.
This delightful tale would be well suited for young readers interested in natural habitats and in reading a story that incorporates real-life depictions of a toad’s lifecycle. It would also be appealing to those that enjoy reading fables or fairy tales about humans and animals, and is recommended for young nature lovers.
About the Author-Illustrator
Jo Miles Schuman has published two previous books: Art from Many Hands: Multicultural Art Projects, of which she is the author; and A Spicing of Birds: Poems by Emily Dickinson, which she edited with Joanna Bailey Hodgman. She has three grown children and lives with her husband on the coast of Maine. She enjoys and studies the natural world, using her art to share with others the beauty of the earth and its infinite variety of plant and animal life.
Dedicated Reviews allow authors and illustrators to gain prompt visibility for their work. Maine Authors Publishing, the publisher of “Toad and the Boy,” sponsored this non-biased review. Learn more about getting a book review