"This,' he said to himself, 'is something I would like to try."
About a week ago I was talking to one of the teachers in my school about the book The Pros and Cons of being a frog also by Sue DeGennaro and the very next day I spied Eddie Frogbert also by Sue. There seems to be a theme here around frogs. In the earlier book the little boy adopts a frog costume but he also learns important things about himself and about the complexities of friendships.
In Eddie Frogbert the main character is a frog. Surely frogs can easily jump and dive but Eddie is a frog with a problem. He is terrified of diving. He watches the others until one day he decides to take his fear in hand and climb to the top of the diving tower. Sadly this is all too much and he forced to shuffle back down the ladder.
This could be the end for Eddie but it is not because he is a problem solver. I adore problem solvers. He devises a plan - small steps towards his goal.
"Eddie was sure there was a little leap inside him."
Then comes the big day. He arrives at the competition. He almost runs away but he musters his courage, tries a little 'self talk' and dives!
"as light as a feather, Eddie Frogbert ... leapt into the air."
Make sure you also notice the little snail moving slowly across the graph-paper end papers. He starts on the left, moves nearly to the middle on the next page and by the end of the book he has nearly reached the end of the page - slow and steady 'wins the race'.
There are universal messages here about patience, perseverance, and practice along with goal setting and overcoming fear. I would follow Eddie Frogbert with Puffling by Margaret Wild and Leonardo's Dream by Hans DeBeer. You might also take a look at an old but important book - Leo the late Bloomer by Robert Kraus.
A big leap for a little frog