An exploration of animal actions in rhyme. Veteran Florian's catchy verse makes this one bounce along: "Leap, frog, leap! / Creep, caterpillar, creep!" The skillful illustrations are playful and filled with amusing details. A blissful pink bunny bounds along ("Race, rabbit, race!"), oblivious to the fierce-eyed, sharp-clawed cat that pursues him ("Chase, cheetah, chase!"). The trekking turtle sports a backpack, a straw hat, and a supremely satisfied smile as it ambles along. In the final image, a pink-skinned child slumbers in a hammock ("Sleep, child, sleep!") with all of the animals that have appeared so far clustered around protectively. Companion title <i>Once I Was a Pollywog</i> introduces the juvenile and adult names of animals in rhyme: "Once I was a cub / but now I am a bear. // Once I was a leveret / but now I am a hare." Simple, clever verse and enchanting illustrations make both of these selections sure bets for toddlers and preschoolers. Librarians, teachers, and caregivers will want this and its companion in their board-book collections. (Board book. 2-5) (Once I Was a Pollywog: 978-1-4998-0141-5)
– Kirkus Reviews in a STARRED REVIEW
Florian's newest board books offer cheery introductions to the natural world for preschoolers and toddlers. <i>Leap, Frog, Leap!</i> combines action verbs with animals, with phrases such as "Race, rabbit, race!" and "Spin, spider, spin!" <i>Once I Was a Pollywog</i> focuses on the names of baby animals and what they grow up to be ("Once I was a cub...but now I am a bear."). Each book concludes with a human character-<i>Leap, Frog, Leap!</i> with a child sleeping and <i>Pollywog</i> with a baby who grows up into a boy. Both titles use rhymes and succinct text to help create a bouncy, simple rhythm for young readers to enjoy. Bakos's illustrations are bright and colorful, especially on the glossy board book pages, matching Florian's sprightly narrative. Even more dangerous animals, like a cheetah and an alligator, are drawn as warm, jovial, friendly characters rather than as scary or menacing, making the illustrations further suitable for preschoolers. In <i>Pollywog</i>, Florian offers some different creatures and terms with which children may not be as familiar, such as a leveret, which becomes a hare, and a gosling, which becomes a goose, providing more potential learning opportunities for young readers. VERDICT: With vivid, lively illustrations; simple, direct writing; and plenty of adorable animals, this pair of titles will be strong choices for any board book collection.
– School Library Journal
Short, slightly tongue-twisting exclamations celebrate movement across the animal kingdom in this exuberant rhyming board book. "Race, rabbit, race!/ Chase, cheetah, chase!" writes Florian as a pink bunny skips away from a green-eyed cheetah; they look more like they're playing tag than in predator-and-prey pursuit. (Later, though, two fish look a bit glum, caught in the talons of some soaring gulls). But the overall mood is one of gleeful fun, and the animals' destination is revealed in the closing scene of a baby napping in a hammock. How he can sleep amid all the activity is anyone's guess.
– Publishers Weekly in a STARRED REVIEW