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What teacher has the bigger influence? The one who spends 900 hours in school with them or the one at home who spends ... More

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Author: Stuart Avery Gold

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Publisher: Newmarket Press,

Material: hard cover

Summary: The story of Ping the frog is, supposedly, a tale passed down from long ago. For years and years, Ping and his friends were happy and comfortable living near the pond. Despite the fact that their pond habitat was shrinking, most of the creatures were satisfied to adapt to the new circumstance. Ping, a magnificent and powerful leaping frog, had always dreamed of being the world’s best long distance jumper. To achieve his goal, Ping set out on a journey to find a big new pond where he could hone his leaping skills. One day in the forest he meets Owl, who soon becomes his mentor. Owl slowly teaches Ping many life lessons, all of which ultimately make him much wiser to the purpose of his life and to the ways of the world. Just as Ping is ready to make the journey to his dream home, Owl is killed by an eagle. This causes Ping to lose his focus, and he tumbles into the Splat River, an extremely unforgiving body of water. As he is struggling to survive, he remembers Owl's words, which then help him truly appreciate all he had learned from his friend. This work, written in parable form, contains a series of lessons and observations about life, its challenges, and rewards.

Type of Reading: independent reading, read aloud book

Recommended Age: read together: 7 to 10; read yourself: 8 to 12

Interest Level: 7 to 12

Age of Child: Teen STAR Review Team, Be the Star You Are!™

Young Reader Reaction: Ping is a very inspirational book that motivates people to live a meaningful life and take control of their future through their actions. It teaches us to enhance ourselves by embracing, but not abusing, our power over our own lives. The plot and characters are very simple but well sketched and the descriptions add to the quality. The suspense and surprising result at the end leave a very meaningful overall impression on the reader.

Adult Reader Reaction: This is an Okay book. The parables are understandable and some will think they are cute.

Pros: Throughout his adventures, Ping is mentored by an Owl, and it is through the mentoring process that the author provides food for thought and action for the reader.

Cons: None, really.

Borrow or Buy: Borrow. If you like adventure and challenge, join Ping in his quest, you won’t be sorry. This is a book for the “self-help” shelf of the public library. Middle school teachers/counselors and home schooling parents might also find this to be a valuable resource when change or challenge face children.


Educational Themes: Change is a permanent process. One can choose to be proactive in meeting the challenges of change or one can be reactive and deal with the impact of change. This book is a resource for those who wish to be proactive.

Literary Categories: Nonfiction - guidebook, middle grade, picture book

Date(s) Reviewed: May 2006

Other Reviews:


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