Monday, January 17, 2011

MG Book Review: Toad Rage, by Morris Gleitzman

(Toad Rage Series, #1 of 4)

General Information
Publisher:  Random House
Year of publication:  2004 (U.S.)
Book 2: 2005; Book 3: 2006
(first published in Australia, 2001)
# of pages:  165 (Book 2 & 3: 190)
# of chapters:  30 per book
Genre:  Adventure
Plot Summary:  from Morris Gleitzman's website

Other books in the series:
Book 2: Toad Heaven
Book 3: Toad Away
Book 4: Toad Surprise

Positive Points
With a unique and entertaining writing style, a good mix of drama and humor sprinkled throughout, and endearing characters, this book is a winner!

Add to this a cliffhanger at almost every chapter and you get a page turner.  The chapters are very short and easy to read.  It was hard to put it down.  I kept reading just one more short chapter, and one more, until I realized I had read the whole book.  This story would appeal even to reluctant readers, boys and girls alike.

The characters are well developed and believable.  The main character, Limpy, is a cane toad with a crooked leg that makes him go around in circles when he tries to hop too fast.  He goes on a mission to make humans like toads rather than try to squish them.  His sweet, lovable little sister, Charm, accompanies him in his journey, along with his oversized cousin, Goliath, who tries to get back at cars for flattening toads by throwing sticks at them as they pass by.

I learned some Australian expressions, thanks to the glossary at the end explaining each one of them. Glossaries are normally boring, but not this one.  The definitions have a little funny twist, some of which made me laugh out loud.

Negative Points
I don't normally enjoy books written from an animal's POV.  I guess this is an exception!  I can't find anything negative to say about this book, really.  Okay, a toad isn't the cute, cuddly character we're used to, but Limpy has its charms, and a good heart.

What makes this book unique
I had never read a book told from a cane toad's POV before.  I learned something about toads:  They can squirt poison from glands.  Who knew?  I'm not sure if a toad's warts really prickle when they sense danger, but it's fun to imagine they might.  Who would have thought that a book about toads would be so interesting?

Overall Impression
Great read!  I recommend it to anyone with a good sense of humor. 

My Rating:

Thinking of purchasing this book? I'll make it easy for you:


Jess said...

I'd pick it up from the clever title and fun cover alone! I hadn't heard of this one, so thanks for the review :)

Emailman said...

Toads that squirt poison from glands. Wow, that sounds familiar :D

You do a great review, Annie :)

Just Wendy said...

What a fantastic title! I'd buy it for that alone :)

Great interview, Annie,

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