Tadpole's Promise, written by Jeanne Willis and illustrated by Tony Ross, is a picture book.
The Plot: Tadpole and Caterpillar meet, fall in love, and promise each other to never change. But, alas, time moves forward and there are some promises that cannot be kept.
The Good: I don't want to spoil anything about this remarkable book, but I do plan on adding a comment later about the ending so if you don't want to be spoiled, don't read the comments. At first, T'sP appears to be a simple tale of love and friendship, but there are deeper issues beneath the surface: love, forgiveness, change, growth, understanding, denial.
I liked how the picture book was designed. Instead of the traditional way, the book is "sideways" with the left hand side the "top" and the right hand side the "bottom," with the top being the Caterpillar's world of air and the right being the Tadpole's world of water.
The illustrations are fun, and include details that add to the story.
I liked this book so much that I will be buying it for Beloved Niece (age 5) and Beloved Nephew (age 2). And since it was published this year, it is also going on my Best Books of 2005 list. Finally, I think this book can work with all ages: I'm sharing it with some teens at the library tonight, so I'll include their responses in my comments section.
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