Monty is a frog with a secret. He's afraid of the water. He has done everything possible to avoid swimming. He wants to learn, but he doesn't know what to do. When the reader [the audience] suggests he talks to his parents, he does. When the family heads out to the beach, Monty asks the reader along for support. It works!
This book was a surprise. I enjoyed how Monty engaged the reader (I can see preschoolers inching closer to the page) and I liked the realism of his hesitancy to share his fears with his parents. Monty is a character in whom kids will see themselves, even if water isn't something they are afraid of.
To be honest, this was not the story I was expecting - and that is a really good thing. While I get that Monty's fear of the water is one that many kids will relate to, I wish it could have been couched as a feeling, not a secret. I get why and it will work for kids, but because we adults have put so much "weight" around the word secret, I worry that adults will shy away from sharing this truly fun, engaging book.
Simple illustrations and an expressive frog who engages with the reader will have them wanting to help Monty over and over again.
Monty's secret is a fear of water. "Secret" can be a sensitive word, but in this case, it is about a personal fear.
This is an interactive story where the main character asks the reader to help solve a problem.
Monty's fear is water and swimming, but his emotions and the solution process can apply to any fear. If your child is afraid of something, this book could help model a discussion about ways to work through the fear.
7 and Up
3 to 8
Borrow. A fun summer read, but not one that will be of interest next year.