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The Freeda The Frog: Book Review

Children's books about having two moms by Jasmine Ledesma


Photograph provided by Mouth Digital Public Relations


Nadine Haruni is on a mission; when browsing through the books that make up her children’s book series we come across Freeda The Frog, making that much abundantly clear. The series has won the Gold Mom’s Choice Award and for good reason. So far, Freeda The Frog, the titular character of the series who guides with a motherly, compassionate touch, has educated her children on how to handle a divorce, moving to a new place and even death. These stories, of which so many children are experiencing all across the world, are as important as any bedtime story. Freeda is helping kids get accustomed to and prepare for many of life’s changes as they come - all while maintaining her lipstick.

Freeda The Frog and The Two Mommas Next Door is the fifth of the series aiming to describe how families vary from kid to kid. In this case, Jessica, the new tadpole at school who sports a bright yellow bow, has two mommas instead of the typical mom and dad. When her new friends come over to play and encounter this fact, there was a hesitancy as I read through, nervousness about what the reaction and possible backlash from the other tadpoles would look like. Would they scream? Or make fun of Jessica? The actual result was a mere and expected sense of confusion that was quickly eroded by Freeda’s warm explanation that all families are different. Their differences don’t matter so much as the love they bring, ultimately. The ending, where the two families end up having dinner together and enjoying their time, is incredibly sweet in its simplicity. There is no big fuss, only acceptance where there should be.

The story is then followed by discussion questions that you can ask your child when you’ve finished reading to see what the book has taught them, either at home or in the classroom. Some of these questions include: Do you think all families look the same? How would you make different types of families feel included? These are important questions that might not always be on parents’ minds, but matter nonetheless.

Haruni’s writing is laser-focused while simultaneously being playful. There are vivid descriptions of the various cleverly named foods involved in this world, from winged dragonfly lollipops to a carton of fly milk. The dialogue feels easy and smooth. Her writing guides us from action to action, and thought to thought swiftly, all to acknowledge the confusion the kids have with Jessica’s parents and then ease that confusion with tender anecdotes that speak for themselves.

Alongside her writing is the fluorescent, endearing art by Tina Modugno. All of the characters are almost neon bright, with polka dots and big cartoon eyes. They are sat against spirited, oceanic backgrounds. Each page not only bursts but is fun to look at.

Pride Month falls during a time of confusion. The world is changing every day. Kids need strong-willed, kind people, or in this case frogs, to tell them it is going to be okay. Freeda does exactly that. This book belongs on all bookshelves and any child’s nightstands. It is a pearl in the clam’s mouth. It is a must-have.

You can now pre-order a copy of Freeda The Frog HERE in time for Pride Month!


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