Hip-Pocket Papa is a Giant Among Frogs

Hip-Pocket Papa by Sandra Markle and illustrated by Alan Marks

Reading level:  Picture Book Ages 4-8

Summary:  The Australian hip pocket frog is like the kangaroo of the frog world, except the male carries the babies. This story follows the struggles of a tiny (the size of an adult thumbnail) male hip pocket frog as he carries his tadpoles in special pockets in his sides.  The tadpoles he carries develop into froglets using food from the original egg, a process that takes about a month.

Illustrations: Lush watercolors

Comments:  With a combination of Sandra Markle’s passion for animals and Alan Marks’ extraordinary watercolors, this story of an unusual frog is sure to capture a young reader’s interest. Sandra considers her work to be “faction,” fiction based on real life.

2011 Charlotte Zolotow Award Honor Book, as well as other awards.

Related activities:

  • Find an article of clothing with big pockets at the hips. Using marbles or small balls to represent tadpoles, see how many you can carry. Make a prediction, and then see how many actually fit. Or even better, find some plastic frogs to carry.
  • Make a poster of a typical frog’s life cycle (see From Tadpole to Frog, and here’s an example). Make another poster showing the hip-pocket frog’s life cycle.
  • Growing With Science has ideas for activities and more information at Summer Sounds: Frogs and Toads

Compatible fiction:  Frog and Toad are Friends by Arnold Lobel

Publisher:  Charlesbridge  (February 2010)

ISBN-10: 1570917086
ISBN-13: 978-1570917080

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One Reply to “Hip-Pocket Papa is a Giant Among Frogs”

  1. I loved this book. I never got around to blogging on it. It’s such a great nonfiction story.

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