Friday, May 17, 2013

Frog Song

Frog Song

Picture book
It's getting to that time of the year when it's much more fun to
sleep outside than inside. You get cool breezes instead of energy
draining humidity. You can swap the whine of air conditioning and
blah blah blah of television for the orchastra of branches swishing in
the breeze, wind chimes, insects, and, of course frogs.
Ya think all frogs are the camo colored critters munching bugs
in Maine ponds and streams. Well then you don't know frogs. Better
check out Brenda Z. Guiberson's Frog Song. You will learn about
fascinating critters like
*the bright red poison dart frog (I guess with venom you can afford to
stand out);
*the Great Plains narrow-mouthed toad that has a symbiotic
relationship with a tarantula spider;
*the (male) Darwin's frog that carries his tadpoles in his vocal sacs
until they are ready to hop out;
*the water-holding frog that burrows into the ground during periods of
But there are reasons other than their being fascinating and cool that
we need to understang frogs and their environments. Amphibians are
very sensitive to changing conditions. Some have called them our
canary in the mine, an allusion to the birds in underground chambers
whose deaths would alert miners to the build up of toxic gases and the
need to get out quick. Keeping the world safe for them will go a long
way toward keeping it safe for ourselves and the other species with
which we share this precious, fragile planet.
On a personal note, I am so excited about volunteering at the library
tomorrow because we're going to have a program on insects in honor of
Edith Patch, a pioneering entomologist who showed her male peers that
women's place was out in the field. I lived in her house (well after
her decease) for two years. It was a vegetarian co op.
A great big shout out goes out to Louise, Orono Public Library's
professional children's librarian who has discovered how much she
enjoys acting.
Julia Emily Hathaway

Sent from my iPod

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