The Mysterious Tadpole
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The Mysterious Tadpole

4.18 of 5 stars 4.18  ·  rating details  ·  538 ratings  ·  68 reviews
Louis's Scottish uncle brings him the birthday gift of a tadpole, plucked right out of Loch Ness. But it soon becomes clear that this "tadpole" is not turning into an ordinary frog! It'll take a little help from friends and a lot of ingenuity to feed and shelter this unusual, ever-growing pet.

The Mysterious Tadpole, with its giddy mix of fantasy, adventure, and high humor,...more
Published 1977 by The Dial Press
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For his birthday every year this boy's uncle gives him exotic species he finds during his exursions, and one year he gives him a tadpole. The tadpole grows too big for the bowl, so it goes in a tank. Then it grows too big for the tank, so it goes in the tub. It really likes cheeseburgers around this time. When it gets too big for the tub, the boy puts it in the school pool, since it's summer. However, once classes start in the fall, the tadpole has to get out, so the boy is pretty upset. It's a...more
Kathryn Brunk
Steven Kellogg is an author and illustrator for children’s books. He has written and illustrated more than 90 of them. So many of his books are about animals and have an over the top plot.

The book The Mysterious Tadpole is one of Kellogg’s most popular children’s books. I love the illustrations in the book and it is truly a joy to read because of the crazy plot. This book has great problem solving skills and is very imaginative. The book starts off with a boy receiving a tadpole from his uncle...more
The mysterious tadpole is so sweet and lovable, I'd like him to live in my bathtub!
Gabriel Wallis
I remember my teacher reading "The Mysterious Tadpole" to my classmates and me at school when I was a little kid. I've always liked the book, and remember it being one of my favorites. Now I have a son I wanted to share the book with. I found it at the library and read it to him, and he absolutely loved it. Great illustrations and a great story. So, instead of getting a tadpole, like Louis the main character was expecting, Louis got a Loch Ness monster! Looking forward to reading more Steven Kel...more
I love Steven Kellogg’s illustrations, they just remind me of my childhood. So when I saw this book for sale at a local used bookstore, I immediately bought it. I enjoyed the story more than my son did, mostly because I’m not sure he really understood what was going on, but he liked the illustrations. I have to admit I was cheering a bit when he went to the librarian for help.

Every year, Uncle McAllister gets a really cool present for Louis’ birthday. This year he sent Louis a tadpole, which Lo...more
John Everard
The wonderful thing about this book is the discussion it can generate for children, before, during and after reading the book. Why is the tadpole mysterious? Why does Alphonse eat cheeseburgers? What is a Loch Ness monster?

This book seems to be well suited for teaching a science module. For example you can discuss with children about the different stages of development for a frog, while also discussing different ways of caring for pets. In addition, you could potentially provide photographs of...more
Oh.. memories!! I LOVE this book!
It's Louis's birthday and his Uncle has brought him a very special present! A tadpole all the way from Scotland! Louis names his new friend Alphonse and he can't wait for him to grow into a frog.
But soon Alphonse outgrows his jar, then the sink, and then the bathtub!
Great story! Terrific illustrations!
I loved this book as a child and I can now share it with my son.
If you're looking for a great children's book to read to your children or to give as a gift... th...more
Ryan Gray
The first thing that caught my attention when reading The Mysterious Tadpole was its brilliant illustrations. The uses of bright colors work well to grab the reader’s attention. In the story the young books uncle gives him a tadpole for his birthday. However he soon comes to find that this is no ordinary tadpole. The tadpole grows and grows. First it outgrows its fishbowl, then its tank, even the bathtub, until it is too big to fit even in the schools swimming pool. The school librarians help th...more
The Mysterious Tadpole
Written By: Steven Kellogg
Illustrated By: Steven Kellogg
Book Type: Fables
“The Mysterious Tadpole” is the story of a boy named Louis and his tadpole Alphonse. Louis’s uncle got him a gift for his birthday. The tadpole he got from his uncle became huge and he had to be kept his tadpole, Alphonse, in the pool at the local school. Alphonse loved the water; it became clear that Alphonse was not turning into an ordinary frog. When the science teacher at the school discovered the...more
Hilarious! Kellogg created an adorable story about a boy and his pet. Who wouldn't want to discover that their tadpole is really a baby Loch Ness monster?
Very good story, almost like a picture book version of Dick King Smith's The Water Horse :)
25th anniversary issue is colorful and fun.
Jun 03, 2012 Robert rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommended to Robert by: flowers22
Shelves: fiction, 3-7, pet, fantasy, own, cfc
This just didn't suit my fancy. There is nothing bad, but really, this Clifford the Big Red Dog in tadpole form. I'm not a fan of Clifford, therefore, it is no surprise a large pet tadpole is equally unexciting.

A little boy receives a tadpole as a gift from a faraway uncle. The tadpole grows and grows. He becomes a problem. Magically, they are able to purchase a swath of land in a city to build a swimming pool. The book ends with another unique gift from the uncle.

I am sure some like this kind o...more
This book is fun, full of good spirit and drawn by someone who clearly loves people.
This is not my favorite Steven Kellogg story, but the illustrations are very rich and lush in this new anniversary edition. The story is one of disbelief, it's a fun, endearing tale. Reminded me of A Fish Out of Water, but with some added folkloric detail for substance. The endpapers are gorgeous and funny.
I got this book at the library based on the story line, about a Scottish tadpole that grows into a big Nessie-like friendly monster. I thought it would be a nice follow-up to our success with Dick King-Smith's The Water Horse. But Logan took one look at the Barney-like cartoon illustrations and said he didn't want to read it. I have to admit, they were a turn-off for me as well.
Steven Kellogg's illustrations are magnificient and eye-pleasing. The story of The Mysterious Tadpole is heart-warming, sweet, and tender. Louis loves his tadpole,Alphonse, even if he is a tad too big. He tries desperately to find a home for his new giant friend...but all the options will cost oodles of money. Good thing Alphonse has a nose for finding treasures.

Used for "Frog Fever" Storytime-May, 2010.
Albert receives a tadpole from his Uncle McAllister as a birthday present. Albert called his tadpole Alphonse. He kept growing and became so large that he stays in the school pool. The librarian helps him discover that Alphonse is a Lock Ness monster. They retrieve treasure for a wreck and build a new pool. It is already his next birthday and his uncle delivers an egg!
This was my favorite Kellogg book as a child but i don't like it as well now. It's about a very unusual tadpole named Alphonse. I think it's cute, but the story is pretty linear. I do still love the part where the kid smuggles a very large Alphonse into a swimming pool by covering him with a rug. So not subtle but the illustration is priceless.
This is the re-illustrated anniversary version of The Mysterious Tadpole. I have to say that I like the original version a lot better. Kellogg tried to make this story more politically correct by changing some illustrations and parts of the story. Even though it's more colorful than the original book, I still like Kellogg's older style drawings.
Jillian Warren
One of my favorites. Louis recieves a tadpole in the mail from his uncle in Scotland. Louis soon realizes that his tadpole is not a frog, but a Loch Ness monster. The stories go through the adventures of Louis and his "tadpole" in his search to find facilities to take care of the "tadpole." Could be read during a science unit.
Good loving story for a learning reader, many questions about inferences could be asked about this book. Many students have pets they care for deeply and many of them can relate to this book. This book would also be a great introduction for a tadpole lesson and introducing the process in to a frog.
Alana Graham
This is a very dynamic and interesting story about a boy who gets a tadpole as a gift from his uncle. This would be a great story for students who are interested in nature or to use for a science lesson. This book is very well written and can easily keep a class' attention during a read-aloud.
Jessica L.
Uncle McAllister sends Louis a tadpole for his birthday or so he thinks. It turns out that it isn't a tadpole at all, but a loch ness monster.

Themes: fantasy, legends

This could be used to introduce the concept of fantasy to students. It is a cute and light heart-ed take on the legend.
Hannah Cobb
Who doesn't love Steven Kellog? In this story a tiny tadpole grows--and grows--and grows, causing lots of problems (where will she live? What will she eat?). While it's a great, lively story, the intricate illustrations make this book more suited for one-on-one than story time reading.
This was a favorite of mine as a kid. I just re-read it, and once again I loved the silliness, but logical silliness if you will. The main character is a responsible kid given his resolve to take care of the surprise that comes with the tadpole given him for his birthday.
Good book for a science lesson on tadpoles. In this book a baby fish became friends with a tadpole which he thought was another fish like himself. After growing into a frog, he came back to tell his fish friend all about the new things he saw on his journey.
Probably my favorite book of all time. Yes I am 40. It is simple and sparks the imagination. It holds a lot of nostalgia for me. The artwork is wonderful, it is always fun to not only look at the central part of the pictures but all the goings-on in the background.
Author/Illustrated updated this story for the 25th anniversary so I had to also check out this original version. I'm sure he had fun updating and the update is lovely but the original is still very wonderful with it's pastel colors and great illustrations.
i love the illustrations..and the story offers all sorts of questions and ideas re problem solving. and, of course, at the end, there is yet another problem to solve...and it all brings a smile to the face of the reader.
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Steven Kellogg is an author and illustrator who has contributed over 90 books for children. He is best known for writing books about animals, for which he credits his grandmother .
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