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