city dog, country frog (written by Mo Willems and illustrated by Jon Muth) is a book that garnered a lot of Caldecott medal discussion. And after reading it I can understand why. It is a story about a city dog who moves to the country and becomes friends with a country frog. Their friendship begins in the spring and you see them playing in the summer, reminiscing in the fall and city dog searching in the winter for country frog. Spring time comes again and city dog is seen sitting on the rock waiting for country frog when a new friendship is formed.
The story is very simple - the illustrations do much of the talking in this story. And they speak powerfully. I was sitting in a bookstore reading through this book and was genuinely sad when winter came. The illustrations are very beautiful and, in connection with the well written text, convey the emotions of the story very well.
I really liked this book, but do know that it is sad. However, I think my children would love it as well. They love animals and would enjoy seeing the friendship between the dog and the frog (and love that their names rhyme). Also I think this book would elicit a discussion on friendships, emotions, losing friends (perhaps if a child was moving, or starting a new school) and making new ones.
Mo Willems can be found on the web at www.mowillems.com. His website deserves another post in and of itself - there are lots of games for kids to play - memory, dancing elephant and piggie, dress the pigeon and coloring. As well as some packets you can download for a group of kids to play in relation to some of his books - host a kids bookclub!