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The Secret of the Stone Frog: A TOON Graphic
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The Secret of the Stone Frog: A TOON Graphic

3.63 of 5 stars 3.63  ·  rating details  ·  438 ratings  ·  112 reviews
In a magical world unlike any you’ve seen before . . .

When Leah and Alan awaken in an enchanted forest, they have only each other and their wits to guide them. In a world of pet bees and giant rabbits, they befriend foppish lions and stone frogs, learning to confront danger as they find both their own independence and the way home. Newcomer David Nytra’s breathtaking pictu
Hardcover, 80 pages
Published September 11th 2012 by Toon Books
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It’s the old if-a-tree-falls-in-the-woods quandary reinvented for the comic book age: If a graphic novel for children references a century old comic predecessor, does it matter if no one gets the reference? This is where it’s hard to be an adult reviewing books for children. My frame of reference not only encompasses the books published during my own lifetime, but thanks to copious reading I’m familiar with historical works as well. A kid’s perspective is going to be completely different. They’v ...more
I was browsing through the graphic novels at my library and saw this little book. It was a very cute read. The story reminded me a bit of some children’s Japanese films I’ve seen (for example Spirited Away). I enjoyed the story and the illustration. It’s appropriate for all ages.

Leah and Alan wake up in an enchanted forest. They have no idea how to get home until a Stone Frog tells them that the path home is behind him. From there Leah and Alan go on a series of adventures on their way through s
Positives/Cautions: This book is difficult for me to accurately recommend or caution against. The artwork is beautiful, the story is cute, and writing is solid. However, it also is a little too refined for the youngest members of the age set it is written for, and too childish for the oldest. There is also a strong lack of teachable elements in the story that parents wouldn't already have taught. Overall, this graphic novel is a strong choice as a book to read aloud to younger students (2/3rd gr ...more
I was absolutely blown away by the astonishing pen-and-ink illustrations in this magical graphic novel. Imagine the childlike surrealism of Little Nemo in Slumberland and Alice in Wonderland blended with Tony Millionaire's meticulously rendered Victorian neighborhoods, and you'll get Stone Frog. A delight!
Travis Mueller
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Amanda Carpenter
Nytra, David. (2012). The Secret of the Stone Frog. New York: CandlewickPress.

School Library Journal

Graphic Novel

This graphic novel is about two kids who go on an adventure after they wake up in a forest. The stone frog tells them to stay on the path and they will find their way home. They wonder from the trail and end up in all sorts of trouble. The finally make it back to their room safe and sound. This is a fun book that students could read to gain new vocabulary words. There are many bold
Sweet and charming and very "down the rabbit hole" but kinda creepy at the same time...
Nicola Mansfield
Reason for Reading: We were very excited about Toon Book's first full length graphic novel. Ds read aloud to me as his reader.

A wonderful, whimsical fantasy that ds and I both enjoyed tremendously. The illustrations are gorgeous and have an old-fashioned feel to them. The story, together with the illustrations, presents a fantastical tale that reminds one of "Alice in Wonderland" with its nonsensical and surreal elements. My son was fascinated with the story mostly, sometimes skipping over wordl
Gene Kannenberg Jr
David Nytra (a cartoonist I'd not heard of before) has the honor of creating the first "graphic novel" to be published by TOON Books, those purveyors of fine, hardcover comics for kids, edited by Françoise Mouly. TOON has made a solid choice. The Secret of the Stone Frog is a beautiful, beautiful book, a fantasy adventure starring a sister and brother who find themselves lost in a confusing, magical world. Sound familiar? Of course; it's the stuff of so much great children's literature. And whil ...more
The Secret of the Stone Frog, by David Nytra (Toon Books, September 11, 2012, 79 pages), is the first Toon graphic novel. The premise of Toon, for those who aren't familiar with this great line of easy readers, is to combine comic book/graphic novel style illustrations with easy to read stories. It's a wonderful idea, that resulted in some truly child-friendly books with appeal to reluctant readers and more confident ones alike.

With The Secret of the Stone Frog, Toon is moving up in age. This is
Upon opening this graphic novel, I was surprised. Fine-lined black and white images that invite readers into an equally surprising story. Leah and Alan wake up in an enchanted forest, not knowing how they got there or where they are. Luckily, there is a stone frog to tell them which way to head and not to leave the path. When they spot a house off of the path though, they just have to see if the people who live there will give them some food. At the house, they discover huge bees in the garden a ...more
This is a longer length graphic novel (80 pages) published by TOON Books, which usually publishes graphic stories for the beginning reader. In this book the brother and sister wake up in the middle of a forest. A Stone Frog speaks to them, telling them to follow the path to get home. They are warned to stay on the path, but this advice is not followed, and "trouble" results. The meet a bee lady with word eating bees, dandy lions with an orchard of candied cherries, gigantic bunnies that take the ...more
Lori Redman
Leah and Alan wake up to find themselves in a magical forest, unable to find their way home. Their only guides are stone frog statues, who point them in direction of which way to go.

This story is part Chronicles of Narnia (cute kids get lost in an enchanted land) and part Alice in Wonderland (there are actually lions in colonial wigs and dress that look just like something from Alice) - it doesn't have much originality. But it was still a compelling story- you want to see where Leah and Alan end
Vincent Desjardins
TOON Books is dedicated to bringing the world of graphic novels to a younger audience. They have produced some wonderful books including the “Benny and Penny” series by Geoffrey Hayes, “Stinky” by Eleanor Davis, “Little Mouse Gets Ready,” by Jeff Smith and “Zig and Wikki in the Cow,” by Nadja Spiegelman and Trade Loeffler. The books are beautifully produced and feature art by some of the finest illustrators working in the field of comics and graphic novels. This one, written and illustrated by n ...more
Online Eccentric Librarian
This is one of the hardest books I've tried to review - it seems to straddle both sides of any adjective I hope to apply to it.

On the one hand, the illustrations and exquisite - highly detailed, original, distinct, and add to the story. As well, the story is deceptively simple - a coming of age metaphor about the dangers but wonders one finds when one doesn't follow the directed path in life. But on the other hand, the dense and unusual illustrations make it hard to really follow/get into the st
A.C.E. Bauer
Gorgeous art -- the detail and line work are breathtaking. It has the feel of old-fashioned etchings crossed with Winsor McCay. The story tells an exciting tale in the Alice in Wonderland vein. My main concern is that all of the human-like characters (i.e., those with human as opposed to animal features) were very white in a white-washed 19th-century-London kind of way -- which I thought was a shame give the incredible inventiveness in all of the other characters portrayed.
I thoroughly enjoyed this graphic novel wherein a brother and sister adventure through dreamland looking for home. Always the path home is behind the stone frog. I loved the drawings and the imagination of the author. The book is creepy and imaginative without being too scary for just before bedtime. I'd certainly pick up something else by this author if I encountered it.
I was quite disappointed by the book. I love Toon Books, but not this one.

The illustrations are lovely, and the story starts strong, with the siblings entering a magical land of talking dandy-lions, enormous bees, and so on, their only instructions from the stone frog guarding the path is to stay on that path.

But the plot goes nowhere, with little structure past the midpoint. You just know the kids are going to make it home, and there's little character development or suspense except at one poin
Alex Murphy
Part of my problems with graphic novels is how short they seem. I started and finished this in about twenty minutes and found myself wishing for more. I know I'm going to be on the lookout for more by this author, and wonder what more there can be. The ending was fun and sort of a 'don't you wish your older sibling was as amazing as this'

Whit Mattson
An amazing and vibrant graphic novel intended for early readers. The art style is compelling and surreal, and the writing is simple for early language proficiency. This is a great book for the transition from picture book to the written page as it's long but compelling for building up short attention spans. I enjoyed this as an adult on its own, and will look this up again when my daughter is older.
A fairly simple lost-in-fairyland tale with beautiful illustrations. Reminiscent of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Little Nemo, and Spirited Away (and a bit of Peter Pan). Story is a little too derivative, with its influences worn prominently on its sleeve. The basic premise is straight out of Little Nemo, with our protagonists lost in a dream and trying to find their way home. There is what might be considered a sub-plot involving Leah (the older sibling) growing up and needing to move out o ...more
This first older (grades 2-3) graphic novel from early reader imprint Toon Books is an impossibly detailed, dreamy journey of two siblings who wake up in an old forest and must journey, Dorothy-like, through a strange land back to home. A bit like John Tenniel meets Little Nemo: 1905-1914 meets The Arrival. Not every kid will like it, but some will get pulled into its old-timey, surreal world. Plus, it's got dandy lions (two words) and goes all Inception near the end. How many kids books do that ...more
Steph Myers
A fun wild ride. Anyone at any age can enjoy this. Nytra has nailed the illustrations. Very reminiscent of Little Nemo and the original drawings for Alice in Wonderland. There is minimal text/dialogue, but the illustrations take time. I got completely absorbed in them. A keeper.
When Leah and her little brother Alan wake-up, they are in their beds. However, their beds are not in their house. They are confused to find themselves in a mysterious forest. Leah determines that the only thing to do is go home and go back to bed! That's the tricky part, just how do they get back home when they don't even know where they are? The curious stone frog sitting nearby comes to the rescue and tells them how to get back home. Alas, as is the way in many magical worlds, the stone frog' ...more
I read this while lying in my hammock under an ash tree. Ah, summer! The background illustrations are absolutely exquisite and stupendously detailed; they suck you right into the forest along with Leah and Alan. Conversely, the minimalist fashion in which the children are drawn is a bit jarring. This was a fun mindtrip through a dream sequence featuring a forest, garden of giant flowers, bees, dandy lions, giant rabbits and houses with eyes and mouths. A bit like Alice in Wonderland in that resp ...more
Leah and her younger brother Alan awaken in an enchanted forest where they encounter a helpful frog made from stone. He tells them to stick to the path in order to find their way home. Of course, they are distracted, and end up being chased by oversize bees and carried through the woods by giant rabbits, among other adventures. When they finally reach safety, they're back in their shared room in their beds. The final images seem to show the inspiration for their adventure and will prompt readers ...more
In ink illustrations Alan and his sister Leah wake to find themselves in a forest far from home. A helpful stone frog directs them to the path and the siblings embark upon an adventure that rivals Wonderland or Neverland.

From giant gardens full of bees who steal speech to cherries bigger than your head to travel atop a rabbit's back this book is full of imagination and the author's decision to draw the book in black ink only helps to encourage readers to add to each fantastical scene with their
A sweet story and beautiful, beautiful illustrations. (This is on the 2015 Nutmeg nominee list that my son and I are reading together.)
A brother and sister awake to find themselves in a dream world full of talking statuary, giant bees, living buildings! What an adventure.
Joe Young
David Nytra - author

A young brother and sister awake in the middle of an enchanted forest with no idea how they got there. As they are searching about they come across a stone statue of a frog. The stone frog speaks to them, directing them to follow the path behind it if they wish to return home. And so they begin a fantastic journey where they encounter giant pet bees, subterranean subway fish and a group of dandy feline noblemen.

This is a wonderful children's graphic novel. The story is deligh
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David Nytra has been drawing since he was old enough to hold a pencil. An artist who works in many media, including clay, wood, and animation, he lives in the small town of 100 Mile House, in British Columbia, Canada. This is his first children’s book. Though his own dreams are often unexciting and he’s only a little bit allergic to bees, he loved books with many creatures in them as a child and h ...more
More about David Nytra...
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