The Frog who Loved Mathematics – Faiz Kermani

Post 45.0

Last week, I found a package in my mail box. A package with a book! But I had no idea where it came from. I had an inkling though, and a little checking of my Goodreads profile proved me right. La Grenouille qui Aimait les Mathematiques, or in English The Frog who Loved Mathematics, was written by Faiz Kermani. The French version (translated from the English original) ended up in my mailbox thanks to a Goodreads giveaway. The book itself wasn’t the only thing in the package. I also got a letter from the publisher, a postcard, lovely bookmark, some Frogtastic stickers and a little note, which reads:

Dear readers,
How many of you knew
that us amphibians in fiction are few?
Please post a frog-friendly review
and we will croak our thanks to you.
Pondly yours,
Bobbul the Frog

I mean, how cute is that? It was just impossible to say no. So, first, enjoy some photo’s of the package I received in the mail last week, and next we’ll dive into the review.

It’s a small book of 17 pages, beautifully illustrated by Korey Scott and translated into French by Nathalie Cailhol Kermani (which is the author’s wife, as a quick Google search confirmed). It’s about… a frog… who likes maths. It sounds so simple, and it is – which is, in my opinion, why it’s such a fun and light read. The book’s blurb says it best:

What happens when the most brilliant mathematician of all time turns out to be a frog?

Concealed beneath mud and slime,
Lay a brilliant mind.
Bobbul may have not been charismatic,
But she had mastered mathematics.

Sounds fun, right? Well, it is! It’s a straightforward children’s story, a fun read and not too preachy. There is, of course, a moral to the story, but it’s not pushed down your throat. It’s really a fun, quick read, perfect for young children.

Tip: is your child studying French? Then give them this French version: it’s easy to understand and an entertaining read. Faiz’s books have also been translated into German, Spanish and Russian from the original English.

Who is Faiz Kermani? He is a writer of children’s books with funny themes when he’s not busy with his serious, scientific day job. His books have won awards in the US and UK and he is also involved in various literacy projects with schools. The short story I received was meant as a teaser for his full-length book: The Frog in the Skyscraper (the book the publisher’s letter and bookmark were referring to). I haven’t read it yet, but based on the short story I did read, I think it will make for a great read. And there’s no better way to describe it, than in the author’s own words:

The Frog in the Skyscraper is the hilarious tale of one sharp-witted frog’s journey to find out where he really belongs – despite a few bumps along the way. It will appeal to children aged 7-9, and fans of Faiz’s former books.

I’ve put it on my to-read-list, and I plan on reading it with my niece. I suggest you do the same: read it to your children/nieces/nephews/neighbour kids/…, get them laughing with the silly adventures of Frijibold the frog and (re)kindle their love of reading.

Happy reading,

Loes M.

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