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The Story of Frog Belly Rat Bone
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The Story of Frog Belly Rat Bone

4.34 of 5 stars 4.34  ·  rating details  ·  257 ratings  ·  54 reviews
"Frog Belly plants the idea that with some strategy, good communication, and goodwill, you can grow wonderful things." — PORTLAND PRESS HERALD

Once upon a time, in a gray endless place called Cementland, there lived a boy who wished to find a treasure. After searching through piles of toaster ovens and wet smelly socks, he spies a box filled with specks and a note that says
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Paperback, 48 pages
Published January 8th 2008 by Candlewick Press (first published April 1st 2003)
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Louise
I love this book...not just the story of friendship, patience, hope and all that, but the beautiful illustrations....I choose it quite often to read to anyone who is willing to sit still and listen and have bought it several times. A firm favourite.
Magila
A very dark seeming book, but lively and positive by the end. You cannot help but draw some comparisons to Wall-E because of how desolate and sad the landscape is in this book.

I loved how Frog Belly Rat Bone was made. I loved the colorful illustrations the concluded the book. The typeface was like chicken scratch, which was a welcome change from the banality of typical books. The story was simple and effective, and it was great to see some misbehaving characters reform.

The art looked a little l
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Jennie Smith
I honestly don't know how I missed this one a long time ago. What a treasure. Between the artwork and the story itself, I don't know which is my favorite part! Frog Belly Rat Bone was created to protect the specks which the little boy is convinced are treasure. In the end, it is Grog Belly Rat Bone who is able to show the boy what true treasure is. The simplicity of this story is both stunning and though provoking to me and lead to a great discussion with my kids about what true treasure is. I ...more
John (J.J.) Sheahan
This is wonderful picture book that I used to muchly enjoy reading to my junior secondary classes. It was very well received.
Jessica Buck
A fantasy book about a boy in a gray endless world filled with “junk” called Cementland. Come join him through his journey for a wondrous treasure that ends with new friends and a colorful joyous world!
I’d recommend this book for reading at the 4th to 5th grade level. Due to the pictures and the story line it might be a bit hard for younger children to fall along and understand. Maybe even a bit scary. (Due to the pictures) I think this book instills patience, determination, forgiveness, as well
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Angela
Just say the name aloud. How can you resist reading this one?!

Think of the Lorax. Think of lines and colors like you've never seen them before in a children's book. Think of the fun it will be to read this one aloud.

Shari
Huge fan, huge.

Our frog belly speaks in a deep British accent. The boy is a little squeaky. The rat sounds like the rat from the animated Charlotte's web, the fruit fly's voice is the highest of all, and the rabbit has a lisp.

Read it every night for a year and see what magic happens for you.
This was our 2010.
Wooden Horse


A great book for gardeners or lovers of plants and color. The little boy finds a box full of tiny specks labeled as "treasure." Doubtful at first, the boy and his creation Frog Belly Rat Bone, eventually witness how the tiny specks transform into beautiful vines bursting with color and food.
Josef Firmage
Nov 29, 2008 Josef Firmage rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: artists
As much as I love the art work, the language, and the conception, the delivery is dissapointing. The characters are great, the conflict is there, yet the resolution is so fast, simple, trite, and unearned that I feel this book is a failure as a whole. But it's so darned pretty.
Jen
This might be hard for beginning readers because the font is squiggly handwriting. The pages are too dingy for a big storytime, but maybe for a smaller or older group. The artwork is interesting, just not good to look at far away. Great story to support gardening and protecting our earth.
Deirdre Keating
Jul 09, 2007 Deirdre Keating rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: boys
Shelves: childrens
The illustrations are what caused us to pick this up at the library just as we were heading to the check-out. Not my style at all, but our little man loved it. Some haunting drawings but some subtle humor as well. Original and not insulting---two rare things in children's lit of late.
Arielle
"Three cheers for Frog Belly Rat Bone, One, Two, Three!"

A lovely, quirky, charming book about the power of planting seeds (specks) and watching and waiting for them to grow into something wonderful.

This is a re-read for me and I'm putting it on my list of books to buy.
Jennie Horne
This is by far my favorite children's book. the story and the illustrations are fabulous. i used to read this to my four year olds at school whenever we did a unit on plants and flowers. they would go around the school reciting " Frogbelly Rat Bone one, two, three......."
Claire Coverley
"Frog Belly Rat Bone, 1...2...3, You must have patience, then you'll see."

This is now a family mantra which has helped us through many a tantrum.

A fantastic, manyh layered book with eye catching illustrations and an important message.
Kiran
A library book sale find that I picked up on a whim because the artwork grabbed my attention. While I really liked the overall message of the story and the illustrations, which were dark and a bit brooding, the language used fell flat.
Sasha Boersma
Quirky illustrations done with a variety of media (including what I think are oil pastels in a few places!). Lessons about patience, creativity, ecology, and friendship all contained in these few pages. Very fun read :)
Tini
I read it and read it and read it. :-)
It's Tim (3) favorite story - and I like it, too. It's about cementland turning in a colorful world through patience and friendship. Very artsy and well done, Timothy.
Claire
Feb 15, 2009 Claire rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: people who love the art and kids of all ages
Wonderful, edgy illustrations complement the story so well. Kids love to hear of Frog Belly's discovery of the mysterious, dull, tiny treasure that Frog Belly buries, nurtures and fiercely protects.
Kim
In the bleak landscape of Cementland a little boy finds that treasure is in the beauty of a garden and in the strength of forgiveness and friendship. This book is wonderful!
Joanna
This came home from a Barnes and Noble outing for my son and his school aide. I love the detail on the cover and the underlying message of world- beautification.
Rena
I love this book! The illustrations are compelling and the story is sweet. It is one of my favorites to read to my children's elementary school classes.
Mary Train
Same issue as I've stated before for this author/illustrator. Great fine artist, but doesn't quite pull the picture book work off very well.

Graceann Jacobson
Cement Land turns in to a garden when the little boy finds a treasure box full of seeds! The boy creates Frog Belly Rat Bone to protect the treasure.
Tyler Lutz
It doesn't make any sense that the Boy can make a living being out of shitty trash and have the trash man more knowledgeable than the Boy.
NZBook Girl
Gorgeously distressed illustrations suit the grungy subject matter, the making of a very animated and expressive creature from rubbish.
Alicia
Didn't think I would like it as much as I did! Loved the connection between treasures and seeds and patience as a virtue.
Heather
50 months - O loves this story and the illustrations. We both love saying "Frog Belly Rat Bone"... Just silly.
Paula
childrens books warm my heart. this one is sweet and silly and has great art! its about the magic of gardening!
Katharine
Great illustrations that can expand children's illustrative pallet. The story is also very sweet.
Stephanie
Feb 13, 2008 Stephanie rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone with kids
Recommended to Stephanie by: me!
this book is for samantha...and celeste (if she ever joins!) it's fun, colorful...imaginative...
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Timothy Basil Ering is the illustrator of the Newbery Medal-winning THE TALE OF DESPEREAUX by Kate DiCamillo and FINN THROWS A FIT! by David Elliott. He is also the author-illustrator of THE STORY OF FROG BELLY RAT BONE and NECKS OUT FOR ADVENTURE! He lives in Massachusetts.
More about Timothy Basil Ering...
Necks Out for Adventure: The True Story of Edwin Wiggleskin The Almost Fearless Hamilton Squidlegger Frog Belly 6c W/Seeds Wild Boy: The Real Life of the Savage of Aveyron Finn Throws a Fit

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