"Where the willow meets the water, a tadpole met a caterpillar. They gazed into each other's tiny eyes and fell in love. 'Promise me that you will never change', the caterpillar says."
And foolishly, the tadpole promises. But as the seasons pass and he matures, his legs grow, and then his arms - and what happens to his beautiful rainbow friend? As he sits on his lily pad, digesting the butterfly he has just eaten, he little realises that now he will never know!
I love this book so much
Breaks the mould in form as well as content.
The Sunday Times
Beginning with pages that open vertically instead of horizontally, this tongue-in-cheek tale takes a typical love story and sets it squarely and amusingly on end. Ross’s vibrantly hued pen-and-ink and watercolour cartoons depict the edge of the pond where a caterpillar and a tadpole meet and fall in love. . . Willis strikes the perfect balance between the deadpan telling and the humorously overblown dialogue shared by the star-crossed pair, while the artwork masterfully enhances each and every nuance.
The School Library Journal
For nourishment of grammatical and contextual awareness, a perfect book for reading aloud is Tony Ross’ and Jeanne Willis’ wicked little love story – Tadpole’s Promise. It starts eloquently and promisingly: “Where the willow meets the water a tadpole met a caterpillar. They gazed into each other’s tiny eyes… and fell in love. She was his beautiful rainbow and he was her shiny black pearl.” But then the tadpole promises the caterpillar he will never change thus ensuring the most captive of reading audiences as they watch the inevitable changes that unfold. The final gasp-making twist (student teachers have shrieked!) is all the funnier for being juxtaposed against such poetic language.
Books for Keeps
This is fast becoming a classic – a wonderful story to read aloud, with great illustrations and a twist, it’s also a smashing book for early readers doing school projects on a tadpole’s life cycle.’
. . . the illustrations encapsulate so well the waterside setting and the seasonal changes.
In poetic, carefully crafted prose Jean Willis tells an ironic, tragic tale of blighted young love.
Those with a fiendish streak will love it.’
Riveting Reads SLA 3-6
Ross keeps readers’ visual interest by depicting developmental changes in the characters, seasonal changes in the natural world and by including running sight gags involving the submerged antics of fish and tadpoles.
This book turns the primary school science topic of Metamorphosis into an unforgettable fairy tale…the texted is perfectly matched by the ink and amphibious watercolour illustrations. Tony Ross makes his emerging butterfly look like an entomologist’s dream.
Books for Keeps