Written by Elizabeth W. Davidson, Ph.D.
Illustrated by Michael Hagelberg
Cheery is a Chiricahua (Cheer-a-cow-ah) Leopard Frog. In his own words, he shares his life with young readers starting at the beginning when he’s just an egg floating in a pond. As he grows from a tadpole to a full-grown frog, he swims and eats and sings songs all night long with his fellow Leopard Frog friends.
But Wise Old Frog warns Cheery of life’s dangers. Invasive crayfish and bullfrogs not only cause diseases, but often feast on Leopard Frogs. After one winter’s hibernation, Cheery wakes to find most of his friends gone. What happened? He learns that many frogs got sick or fell prey to the invasive creatures. Cheery’s loneliness turns to confusion as he is caught in a net, put in a bucket, and whisked away to a strange place. However, upon hearing the familiar call of other Leopard Frogs, he feels safe. Now at a zoo habitat, Cheery and his friends have plenty to eat and can repopulate without the threat of danger. When they are a full family again, they are moved back to their old pond to swim and eat and sing.
This book hits just the right notes for third grade readers, leaving them feeling encouraged and hopeful. The disappearance of the Chiricahua Leopard Frog is just one example of the many frog species that are endangered or extinct. The author, a research scientist at Arizona State University, provides extra information on amphibian decline and the importance of frogs to our ecosystem. A curriculum guide is also included and offers reading strategies and questions for the classroom. Additional materials can be found on the publishers website: www.littlefivestar.com.
- Title: Cheery: The True Adventures of a Chiricahua Leopard Frog
- Author: Elizabeth W. Davidson, Ph.D.
- Illustrator: Michael Hagelberg
- Publisher: Little Five Star / Five Star Publications
- Reviewer: Lauren Abbey Greenberg
- Format: Paperback, 40 pages
- ISBN: 978-1-58985-025-5
- Genre: Picture Book / Nonfiction / Animals / Endangered Species