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02 August, 2016

Book review: Bufo byTerra Ciel

Title: Bufo
Author: Terra Ciel
Illustrator: L' Etoile
Publisher: nature's dance publishing and photographic LLC

Bufo is the story of Bufo the frog. He looks very different from the other frogs who make fun of him and won't play with him. He makes a wish on a falling star for a friend. This wish leaves him open to friendship from two butterflies. Their daily play takes him far from his home where he gets lost. Bufo is helped by a white rabbit named Bonzy who invites him to live in the Lotus pond by his burrow. Bufo makes friends of the pond dwellers who see Bufo for who he is not what he looks like.  But when Bonzy is captured by a human and taken into the "big house" can Bufo muster the strength and courage to rescue his friend?

Bufo is a children's book. The story it tells takes on the topic of differences in people (or in this case animals), how we shouldn't judge by what a person looks like, and friendship.  The story itself is engaging if a little long. It works quite well as a moral story. 

However, this is not a good picture book.  It has an extremely interesting mix of real photographs and illustrated elements to the pages. This is not always engaging as the illustrations can seem like they are poping off of the photographs at times. Unlike Mo Willem's Knuffle Bunny which also uses this illustration style because the pictures as well as the illustrations are in color they sometimes just seem to float on the background without being as eye drawing as Willem's color illustrations on black and white or sepia toned photographs. Also the length of the text on the pages and how it is laid out makes it hard to read at times. I feel that this story would be better read as a read a loud because of this.

This is a good attempt at producing children's literature. I was left wondering if this was originally written and illustrated for a children's literature course, as it has the feel of some of the attempts by my classmates for a similar project.  I would recommend it for stronger young readers, and not early readers.  I believe the publisher is local to me as I took this copy from an area little free library that had multiple copies in it and have seen other little free libraries in the area with copies of this book in it. 

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