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Author: Matthew Stein

Illustrator: Taillefer Long

Reserve at the Library

Publisher: CreateSpace, 2013

Material: paperback

Summary: Bad Billy and his gang are making a mess of the Great Cypress Swamp. Geronimo and his animal friends have had enough! This isn't just about the trash, it's about respect, too. The animals are happy that Geronimo is brave enough to take on Bad Billy. They didn't count on Bad Billy frog-napping Geronimo. Will his friends be able to save the day? This picture book addresses conservation, bullying, teamwork, and friendship.

Type of Reading: playtime reading, read aloud book

Recommended Age: read together: 6 to 9; read yourself: 9 to 11

Interest Level: 6 to 9

Young Reader Reaction: Review pending.

Adult Reader Reaction: This is a clever take on (IMHO) the over-written topic of bullying. Yes, Bad Billy is a goon toward the animals, but it his treatment of the Great Cypress Swamp that takes center stage. As a result, the story has more depth for readers.

Pros: Kids and parents alike will keep turning the page to see how this heroic frog and his swamp friends save the day.

Cons: This is a text-heavy picture book, so it may not appeal to readers who want the story to move faster.

Borrow or Buy: Borrow, at least. This is a book that has great layering. You won't get it all from the first reading.


Educational Themes: There are several layers to the story. The obvious ones are bullying and treating the earth respectfully. Respect could also extend to how we treat each other. At the beginning the author talks about the Apache and Seminole tribes. This could be a good starting place for discussions about these Native Americans.

Notes: The author donated a copy of this book knowing that we would consider it for review and provide an independent, unbiased profile. This book will be given to a nonprofit to help readers in need. The Reading Tub® reviewed the book in conjunction with an Author Showcase feature.

Literary Categories: Fiction - picture book, animal characters, friendship, ecology, problem solving

Date(s) Reviewed: December 2013, January 2014

Other Reviews: See Critics Reviews and reader feedback at ');


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