Anna and Froga: Wanna Gumball? — funny kids' picture book

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I love Richard Scarry books, and so do my kids. He's got a quietly quirky sense of humor that reveals itself as you go through his oeuvre. Anna & Froga, by Anouk Ricard, has the same kind of humor as Scarry, but with the volume cracked up a little more. This collection of comicbook-like stories feature Anna and her animal friends on mini-adventures that include duplicitousness, frustration, greed, fool's errands, and trickery.

In one story Froga (a frog) finds a pink gumball on the ground and gives it to Anna. She pops it into her mouth and complains that it tastes funny. Froga admits he gave her a chewed-up piece of gum. Anna is so shocked she accidentally swallows the gum. A moment later Christopher the pink worm (a dead ringer for Scarry's Lowly Worm) comes along and asked the pair if they've seen his cousin Sammy. "He looks like me only smaller. Oh, he also smells like berries and he's usually curled up in a ball napping." Whoops.

This is a delightful book that most kids will enjoy, because even though the setting is fantasy, it deals with the real kinds of emotions and situations that kids experience every day.

Anna & Froga