Perfect Picture Book Friday – Once There was a Bull…frog!

Susanna Leonard Hill features Perfect Picture Book Friday on her blog. This is a wonderful resource if you are wondering what books to give as gifts, needing material for a lesson, and mainly just perfect for those who love to read picture books. Here is a list of books by category. This is very handy for finding books for lessons in the classroom, or for finding books on a particular topic to discuss with your children at home. Each book listed has a link to a review and information about that book. There is also an alphabetical list.  This week, I have chosen Once There Was A Bull…frog!  for Perfect Picture Book Friday.

Once There Was A Bull…frog!

Written by: Rick Walton and Illustrated by Greg Hally

Gibbs Smith- 1995 1st edition, Rep Rev edition (March 1, 2011)

Ages 3-7

Themes: Compound Words, Language Fun, Educational, Concepts,  Humor

Synopsis: (From Rick Walton’s website) It’s about the worst thing that can happen to a bullfrog: he’s lost his hop and doesn’t know where to find it. But when he begins to search for it, he discovers that nothing is what it seems. He looks under a toad. But turn the page, and the toad turns out to be a toadstool. He looks under a dog. But turn the page, and the dog is really a doghouse. And so on, and so on, from a cow…boy to a stage…coach. Set in the Old West, the story takes the reader into every nook and cranny that compound words can offer. Will the bullfrog ever find his hop? Turn the page and find out! Rick Walton and Greg Hally have created a page-turner, in the truest sense of the word. It’s a rollicking story that begs to be read again and again.

Resources: Rick Walton’s website has an extensive list of awesome resources, including: 2275 Compound Words, Activities, Build Your Own Compound Words, Compound Word Riddles, Nursery Rhymes About Frogs, Write Compound Word Riddles, Write Your Own Bull…frog Story, Write Your Own Problem Story.

Why This Book is Praise…worthy: Because it’s more appealing than flap…jacks, more inventive than fly…paper, more exciting than a home…run,  and a more than fool…proof way to teach children about compound words. In fact, I was so over…come by joy when I discovered this book that it contributed in a big way to my decision to try my hand at writing…which back in 1995 (when the book was first published)…was actually hand…written 🙂 Rick Walton is a master…mind when it comes to word…play. This book will add  a big dose of sun…shine for students in your class…room.  I’m not over…stretching when I say that you won’t be short…changed by Greg Hally’s clever illustrations as they show…case compound words in a playful way. In short, Once There Was A Bull…frog will be a worth…while read and you will be spell…bound by the ready…wittedness with…in the pages.

Seriously, not only is this a book every early elementary teacher should have for teaching compound words, but it is a read-aloud that any kid or adult will want to read/hear over and over again. It will have readers and listeners anticipating every page turn. The illustrations strengthen the text by tempting the reader to guess what is on the next page. But watch out…they will trick you every time and send you off on a wild guessing game. When you finish this book, you may want to follow Bull…frog’s adventure in his next book, Bullfrog Pops!

I have several of Rick Walton’s books. They are a wonderful resource for teachers. For instance, another title is Pig, Pigger, Piggest. He has a list of books for teachers with resources. Visit his website to view others.

35 thoughts on “Perfect Picture Book Friday – Once There was a Bull…frog!

  1. Oh my goodness, that’s so funny! I am right now writing a blog post on compound words for All About Learning Press (I’m a blog contributor there), and I suggested this book as a giveaway to go with the post! I have not read it, but it seemed like the most fun book on the subject — and now you’ve confirmed my suspicions. Your review is a hoot, funny lady!


    1. That is funny! The book would be a great giveaway.

      I did something I hadn’t done before….I emailed the author, Rick Walton, and linked to the review. I thought he may like to know. I told him about 12 X 12 and Susanna’s Perfect Picture Book Friday. His response was quick and soooo nice and appreciative. He told me that he has someone working to create curricula for school (and home) use. He attached the Bull…frog unit. It is a 14 page unit that will be for sale. I looked through it and it was really well done. It looks like it will be available on the Teachers Pay Teachers website soon. He thanked me for the review and even attached more information about writing.


  2. First of all, KUDOS on winning the Unlikely Valentine Contest!!!! I LOVED your Frankenstein poem and read it over and over and over again…laughing each time. Your word…play 🙂 was awe…some! 🙂

    I love this book also…have never seen it…so I will grab a copy at the library if they have one! What a wonderful way to excite children with words! Thank you, Penny, for a great PPBF choice. 🙂


  3. Your review made me laugh out loud! I love the look of the bull…frog on the cover. Thanks for the recommendation and congratulations on winning the valentine’s contest! Your poem was amazing.


  4. I think your review could win some kind of contest…so fun! Congrats on your win and thanks for introducing me to this author and his books.


  5. Am not at all familiar with Rick Walton. But, I love your enthusiastic review of his book. Sounds like a great book for kids and teachers! It sounds like a book filled with lots of good humor. Nice choice!


  6. I’ve got one more child who still needs to learn how to read, and although it’s still a year away, this book looks like a fantastic resource as does Pig, Pigger, Piggest. Adding this to my ever-growing list for the library!


  7. This sounds like such a fun read — and I love word…play!

    Thanks Penny, and congrats on your win!


  8. This book sounds great, and really fun, and I love your review written in kind 🙂 I’m familiar with Rick and his blog, but I haven’t read this book – I’ll have to add it to my 40 mile long list 🙂 Thanks for sharing it!


  9. What a fun, and hilarious, way to teach compound words. My daughter is studying them in spelling right now, so I’ll have to check this out. Thanks Penny!


  10. Can I just say with six boys (and one girl who does not care for them) that we have always LOVED frogs? This is a gotta have it asap! Frogs are such a gift. We had a pet frog at the barn. He did his business on me a lot! 🙂
    Rick Walton is DEFINITELY a master mind on word play. Can’t wait to get it. 🙂

    Have a beautiful weekend.


  11. This sounds like a really FUN book and a great way to learn about compound words! The cover illustration looks nice too!
    Great PPBF pick!

    PS Congratulations on winning the Valentine’s Day contest 🙂


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