for Tadpole's Promise
by Jeanne Willis
and Tony Ross
It’s love at first sight when a tadpole and a caterpillar meet. They adore everything about each other. “ 'Promise you’ll never change,’ “ begs the caterpillar. And—rather shortsightedly—the tadpole promises. Of course, change is inevitable. First the tadpole grows legs, and then arms, and finally, he loses his tail. With each transformation, the caterpillar grows angrier and angrier at her beloved’s betrayal, finally stalking off to a willow branch to sulk. When she awakens later, she’s undergone a change herself—she’s now a butterfly. Realizing she still cares for the tadpole, she flies off in search of her love, only to meet up with a frog (formerly her tadpole). She approaches to ask if he’s seen her tadpole, but in mid-sentence, the frog leaps up and swallows her down in one gulp. The totally unexpected climax leaves most readers stunned, and then laughing as they appreciate the cynical and hilarious departure from the anticipated lesson about eternal friendship. Tony Ross’s clever design orients the book spine up, and uses the gutter as the boundary between water and sky. Visual clues hint that this is not a match made in heaven long before the text’s dramatic demonstration of a food chain in action. (Ages 5–10)
CCBC Choices 2006 . © Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2006. Used with permission.
Where the willow tree meets the water, a tadpole met a caterpillar.
They gazed into each other's tiny eyes...and fell in love.
"I love everything about you," said the caterpillar.
"Promise you'll never change." And foolishly the tadpole promised...
But we all know that tadpoles don't stay the same, and neither do caterpillars.
Will they still be able to love each other?
Publisher description retrieved from Google Books.