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Friday, September 02, 2011

The Absent-minded Toad

The Absent-minded Toad
by Javier Rondón
illustrated by Marcela Cabrera
translated by Kathryn Corbett

Ages 2 and up

This book has been a firm favorite in our bookshelf (Thanks, Nana!) for the past three years or so and I realized I haven't shared it here.

Originally published in Spanish as El Sapo distraído, this English translation The Absent-minded Toad is pretty charming and simple with lilting text just under 200 words.

A toad, dressed for the market, armed with his list, sets out jauntily. He gets so caught up in the happenings around him that when he finally reaches back home he realizes he has not bought a single thing from his list.

What makes the book impressive for me are the gorgeous colorful illustrations. The sort of illustrations that kids at home pored over by themselves even if nobody was reading the book to them. The sort of deceptively simple and subtle yet humorous paintings that make me dream about picking up my brush and imitating the style even if I have no clue where to start.

There is a lot of action what with vendors at the busy market peddling their wares and the book manages to capture and present it all via soft but bright watercolors and mildly humorous lyrical text.

After many repeat reads over the years, with Ana and with Og, I am glad I didn't emulate the toad and completely forget to share this book here forever. This book is a keeper in our shelves.

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