The Case of the Vanishing Golden Frogs: A Scientific Mystery
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The Case of the Vanishing Golden Frogs: A Scientific Mystery

4.16 of 5 stars 4.16  ·  rating details  ·  122 ratings  ·  49 reviews
Panamanian golden frogs aren't just cute, little, and yellow. They're also the national symbol of Panama. But they started to disappear about fifteen years ago. What's killing them? Could it be a change in their habitat? What about pollution? Might it be a result of climate change? Follow a team of scientists working to save these frogs and protect frog populations worldwi...more
Library, 48 pages
Published October 1st 2011 by Millbrook Pr
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Since The Case of the Vanishing Golden Frogs: A Scientific Mystery by Sandra Markle was a non-fiction book I don’t think a theme was intended to be in the book. The readers come to understand how scientific discoveries are made and the steps on how scientist deduce problems can find answers to said problems. This takes place in present day Panama in many of their forests. The point of view is an omniscient author and the golden frogs are the main characters. This book is an informal non-fiction...more
Connor C
In The Case of the Vanishing Golden Frogs by Sandra Markle, the main idea or message that the author is trying to convey is that people’s efforts can have a great impact on their surrounding world. The story takes place from about 1996 until present day in the humid, wet forests of Panama. A narrator tells the story. The book is classified as informational non-fiction. The main characters are all of the people who put effort into saving the golden frogs. Golden frogs are very important to the co...more
Ivor W
May 07, 2014 Ivor W added it
The author’s main idea is about how the humans take down the rain forest and how bad the environment is for the wildlife living in it. In the early 1990’s, Karen Lips, a biologist, went to the Panamanian rain forest and saw lots of Panamanian golden frogs. She went back in1996 and found that there were not as many golden frogs there as in 1992. The point of view of the book is being told from a narrator in the third person. This book is an informational non-fiction book about how the Panamanian...more
This is a great book, full of color, photographs, and captions, that reads almost like a mystery, even though it's nonfiction! It tells about the bacteria that is killing these frogs in great detail (but not too much text), and explains what is being done to protect them. Great back matter that includes an end note, an author's note, how to determine between a frog and toad, how to help local frogs, global rescue efforts, a glossary, an index, and a section with websites and other books about ho...more
Sharon Tyler
The Case of the Vanishing Golden Frogs: A Scientific Mystery (Exceptional Science Titles for Intermediate Grades) by Sandra Markle is a fantastic non-fiction addition to any elementary school library. It is due to be published on October 23 2011. Brilliant colors and photographs work with the text to tell the story of the Panamanian golden frogs, which began dying out around fifteen years ago. A team of scientist works hard to discover the problem and do everything they can to help the little ye...more
Nonfiction Detectives Blog

Something strange began to happen in the Panamanian rain forest in 1996. Scientists noticed that golden frogs, members of the toad family, were mysteriously dying. There was no explanation for the bodies of golden frogs turning up in Panama and Costa Rica. The book follows the work of diligent scientists, Karen Lips and Joyce Loncore, as they try to solve The Case of the Vanishing Golden Frogs.

Markle organizes the book as a detective would lay out the facts of a case. P...more
Jim Erekson
It was great to see an information book with this kind of engaging story line. The search for the fungus, and the story after its discovery were interesting to follow, and scientific process and scientists at work were foregrounded by Markle instead of just presenting basic facts--almost like a crime procedural. This is vital for the survival of the printed informational picturebook. There will be thousands of titles in the future that go only to ebook format, because unless a book does somethin...more
AUDIENCE: Intermediate
GENRE: Nonfiction
AWARD: NCTE Orbis Pictus Award Recommended Book 2013


REMEMBERING: What is Bd and how does it affect Golden Frogs? Be specific and justify your answer with text evidence.

UNDERSTANDING: Using what you know construct a concept map of the information in The Case of the Vanishing Golden Frogs: A Scientific Mystery and then summarize the main idea of this nonfiction text. What do you think is the main idea? Justify your answe...more
Sep 13, 2012 Jess rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: 5-8
Recommended to Jess by: Well reviewed
Why are the Golden Frogs of Panama disappearing? Let's research!

Great junior nonfiction. The book's respectful to it's readers and well organized. I especially like that Markle includes the various theories considered by Karen Lips as she tried to figure out what was killing the frogs. Yes! Let's show scientific methods and processes and get away from Eureka moments.

The things you want in NF -- index, glossary, table of contents, author's note, how to help local frogs, a digging deep list of bo...more
Tiffany Beedle
This is a non-fiction book that could be used in may classrooms or for different audiences. I think for me the target audience I would aim for would be a second grade classroom. I feel that this would be something that every child would be interested in learning about. The book is written in a way that children can understand the wording and the facts that are given. I also think that if any child is bored with typical animal books this would be a great choice to give them so that it talks about...more
"The Case of the Vanishing Golden Frogs" in my opinion, is a perfect example of a nonfiction book. This is the story of the Golden Frogs Panama and how they are on the verge of extinction. the book reads as a documentary. Sandra Markle, the author, includes a logical sequence of events. She starts off explaining how biologist noticed the frogs were starting to dwindle in numbers, explains the steps researchers took to find out the problem, and includes a ton of information about the conservation...more
For grades 4 - 6, ages 9 and up | Lexile Measure: 910L

From cover:
Panamanian golden frogs aren't just cute, little, and yellow. They're also the national symbol of Panama. But they started to disappear about fifteen years ago. What's killing them? Could it be a change in their habitat? What about pollution? Might it be a result of climate change? Follow a team of scientists working to save these frogs and protect frog populations worldwide in this real-life science mystery.

Informative book while...more
Markle, Sandra. The case of the vanishing golden frogs: a scientific mystery. Minneapolis: Milbrook Press, 2012. Print.

Karen Lips, an American biologist, takes a trip to Panama and discovers numerous recently deceased golden tree frogs throughout the forest. What is happening to this reptile so beloved by the people of Panama? This true story follows Karen's investigation into the cause of their unnatural deaths and the international collaboration to save their lives.

This is a fascinating read t...more
Abby Johnson
The Panamanian golden frogs are disappearing. That might not seem like a huge deal, but these little frogs are a symbol of Panama the way that bald eagles are a symbol of America. Not to mention the fact that one animal disappearing from an ecosystem can effect that ecosystem drastically.

Why are the frogs disappearing? Is it pollution? Climate change? Habitat destruction? Disease? And what, if anything, can scientists do about it?

In The Case of the Vanishing Golden Frogs, scientists begin to i...more
In the space of just a few years, biologist Karen Lips noticed a serious decline in the population of golden frogs living in the mountain forests of Panama. She discovered massive quantities of dead frogs and was perplexed and concerned about the cause of their deaths. Sandra Markle follows Lips’ investigation into the near-extinction of these tiny frogs who are not only special to Panamanians as a national symbol, but also fill an important role in their ecosystem and food chain.

Although, occa...more
Sarah W
This book did an excellent job of mapping out the exploration of the causes behind the decreasing population of golden frogs in Panama. I liked how it went into causes that effected populations elsewhere and dismissed how those couldn't be the case for this group of frogs (For example, looking at water pollution, climate changes, etc). It also showed different experts working together to find the cause. Once it was discovered that it was a fungus, scientists had to hurry to learn how to make art...more
Captivating story of how the Golden Frogs of Panama are disappearing. Sandra Markle retells how scientists discovered the frogs disappearing, the steps they went through to figure out why, and what is being done today to help. Photos and graphics also helped with the story.
Marguarite Markley
A fungus is killing off frogs all over the world. This is the story of how it affects the golden frogs of Panama. Beautiful illustrations, heartbreaking information. Grades 3 and up.
Karen Ball
The golden frog is a traditional symbol of good luck in Panama, and at one time there were millions living in the Central American rain forest. In 1996, the frogs began to disappear, and scientists discovered that they were dying in huge numbers -- and the ones that were alive were more often than not very ill. In the Fortuna Forest Reserve in Chiriqui, biologist Karen Lips worked to figure out what was causing this: was it pollution? Disease? Climate changes? If it turned out to be one of those...more
Camille Ryckman
This is a book I would recommend to elementary school kids age 9-12 years old. The story is well told, like a detective story. It is done in simple burst of information and it connects the dots for kids well. The story of the Golden Frog of Panama is interesting and has a strong environmental background. As I read the book I too was intrigued by the mystery of what happened to the Golden Frogs. I also like that because this is a true story it ended without a conclusion since we don't know what w...more
Millbrook Press, 2012
48 pages
Recommended for grades 3-5

This text tells of the golden frogs found dying off in alarming numbers in Panama during the 90's. The book felt out of date, focusing mainly on work done in the 90's. To our young readers the 90's is...history! I will be using this book with my third graders as some weigh the pros and cons of zoos in their research, a spin off topic from our reading of The One and Only Ivan. Without the support of zoos species can face extinction...more
Kayla Buchan
Genre: Non-fiction, Mystery
Audience: Primary
Twin Fiction Book: I would pair this non-fiction reading with the picture, fiction book, "The Umbrella" by Jan Brett. This book is a fun read with wonderful and creative pictures of different animals living in the jungle; which is comparable to "The Case of the Vanishing Golden Frogs" since the Golden Frogs live in the Panama Jungle. "The Umbrella" has a frog character in the book which is another connection to the non-fiction reading. These 2 books wo...more
Brenda Kahn
Engaging text and beautiful full-color photos highlight an intriguing scientific mystery.
Review of an advance copy:

Sandra Markle's books are always fabulous, and this one is no exception. Ms. Markle makes you care about the frogs as well as about all of the scientists who are trying to solve the mystery and save the frogs from extinction. The presentation of the book is also gorgeous, and very eye-catching. It should catch the eye of young science enthusiasts and will be useful for reports and as an introduction to the differences humans make on ecosystems and the ways we can work t...more
Tracking killers doesn’t just happen on TV shows or police stations. Scientists had to find the culprit who was killing the Panamanian golden frog before the species was wiped out entirely. See how dedicated detectives tracked down the killer in the jungles of Central America. Spoiler alert! The killer is still at large, but he’s been identified and the frogs have been saved from extinction. For the budding scientist who doesn’t want to be trapped in a lab.
Amanda Coppedge
Consider this for a twist on a mystery assignment for nonfiction readers in grades 1-4. Great nonfiction pleasure reading, too. I love this sentence in the author's note: "Perhaps, one day, one of you will become the science detective who stops this [amphibian] killer." I love that this book takes budding readers/budding scientists seriously and gives them a little bit of guidance and inspiration for the future.
Laura Sims
This is a non-fiction picture book about a famous species of frogs that live in Panama; however, something is making them sick. The book has beautiful photographs of the various frogs, including the various problems they are having as a result of disease they are catching in their wild environment. The researchers are trying to figure out what is causing the deaths of these frogs.
An excellent book describing the struggles researchers have had in identifying the problem of vanishing Panamaian Golden Frogs, how to raise frogs in zoos, and how to prevent their deaths in the future. Easy to read text makes it accessible to elementary students and grabs their attention. Excellent photographs and interesting facts keep their attention.
I learned about their habitat, and the different lives the adults and tadpoles live. The tadpoles have gold spots on them that truly look like gold.
There are no more Golden Frogs out in the wild, they are all in zoos or aquariums, awaiting a cure to kill Bd which is a fungus that causes their
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Sandra Markle is the author of more than two hundred children's books, which have won numerous awards, including Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor Book, IRA/CBC Children's Choice, NSTA/CBC Outstanding Trade Books for Children, NCTE Orbis Pictus Recommended, and ALA Notable Books for Children. She lives in Lakewood Ranch, Florida and frequently travels to schools sharing her program "Sandra Markle's Boo...more
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