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A Frog Thing

February 10, 2012

By: Carisa Kluver

The Digital Media Diet

Flying isn't a 'frog thing' ... or is it?

Based on the very popular 2006 print title by Eric Drachman, A Frog Thing is the kind of storybook that makes for an instant classic. It's about a frog named Frank who wants to fly, despite being told that flying isn't a 'frog thing'. Eventually Frank gets his wish in a creative way that is both satisfying and surprising.

Earlier this week, my Kindergartner came home with the print version of A Frog Thing, having chosen it himself on library day at school. We were both excited to find this app released just a day later for our iPad! It's a perfect digital translation, too, featuring the great narration originally included on an audio CD that accompanied the print title.

Ultimately, this app does well because it features a well-crafted story and expressive original illustrations. It is also narrated beautifully with great timing, emphasizing the nice pacing of the print edition. Text highlights word-for-word with the polished voice-over, plus you can tap on any word to hear it again (or touch and hold over the text to hear it re-read). These features, common in omBooks from Oceanhouse Media, are great for reinforcing word recognition in young learner readers.

This title doesn't have any animation, although pages do pan in and out over the delightful illustrations, making for a semi-animated feel to the app. Images are only lightly interactive, with a few sound effects sprinkled throughout the pages. Settings are adequate, although a page guide would be a useful addition. Overall this is a great title for shared storytelling, either for classrooms, bedtime reading or anytime you want to please multiple children. Highly recommended!

[Extra: Here's a great interview with the author on the Oceanhouse Media Blog.]

All reviews are of the app, not the platform/device. Based originally on iPad versions. Minor technical details may vary.


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A Frog Thing

February 10, 2012

By: Carisa Kluver

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Eric Drachman/James Muscarello

Oceanhouse Media, Inc.

Length (time):
10 - 12 Minutes

Based on non-digital book: Yes

Allows Own Narration:

Uses Motion: No

Age: 4 - 9

English •

Length (pages):
48 Pages


Story Synopsis - A Frog Thing

Frank was a frog that wanted to fly. Even after his parents tell him that flying is not a 'frog thing', Frank is still determined to live his dream. Despite his best efforts, though, Frank finds that his attempts at flying are really more like 'falling' ... everyone in the pond laughs at him too.

Discouraged but not yet willing to give up, Frank sits sadly near the pond when suddenly a baby bird falls into the water. Frank dives in and rescuse the bird, returning it to its mother. The grateful mama-bird asks if there is anything she can do for the brave little amphibian.

Frank admits that there is just one thing he would like in return ... help flying. The mother bird is perplexed but has an idea. She flies off, returning moments later with another bird and a twig held between them. "Grab on!" she calls to Frank, allowing the little frog to hang on to the stick, while the two birds soar into the sky.

Soon little Frank is high above the pond, having the time of his life. All of his froggy friends are very impressed. When the flight is over, little Frank is happy and ready to accept that flying isn't really a 'frog thing'. Frank may not be able to fly on his own, but once his dream is satisfied, he is ready to tackle some new challeges in the water. Frogs may not be able to fly ... but they can certainly show off as swimmers.


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Orientation: Landscape

Format: Universal


Read to Me, Read Myself, AutoPlay, Home, News On/Off, Sound On/Off, Links to: AppStore, Twitter, FB, Email, Web

App Release Date:


Size: 17.36 MB

Version: 1.0.8

Lite Version Available: No



A Frog Thing

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