An Army of Frogs

armyoffrogsTitle: An Army of Frogs:  A Kulipari Novel
Publisher: Amulet Books
Authors: Trevor Pryce with Joel Naftali
Illustrator: Sanford Greene
Pages: 288 pp
Price: $15.95
ISBN:  978-1-4197-0172-6, 272 pages

I got this book because it looked like a fun one to read to my six year old and because we are both Bronco Fans.  For those that are not football fans, you may not realize it, but Trevor Pryce is a former Denver Bronco player.

The book is about a group of frogs that live in a magically protected area in Australia.  This protection was put in place by the Turtle King after the last war with war-mongering scorpions.  During this war, many of the elite troops, called the Kulipari, were either killed or used up all of the poison which made them strong.  The book follows a particular frog who wishes to become one of the Kulipari, but cannot because he doesn’t have any poison.  He continually trains himself in the arts of fighting, hoping to join the Kulipari despite his lack.  Then, one day, he finds his training actually being put to use when the scorpions team up with the spiders in order to invade the Ampibilands.

I asked my son to help me review this book. Below is his synopsis with only minor editing for clarity and removal of spoilers.

Darryl and Gee were best friends.  Darryl wants to be Kulipari.  The Kulapari are the frogs that protect the Amphibilands where all frogs live.  The Kulipari have not been seen since the first war with the scorpions.  Darryl and Gee wanted to find some flowers for a friend.  They ran into scorpions who had managed to get past the Veil.  Gee got caught by the scorpions and taken back to camp.  Darryl tried to save him by sneeking through the scorpion encampment.  He got himself recruited by the lizard mercenaries.  When Darryl was guarding the prisoners, he freed Gee.  They then took off to find the Turtle King so that they could get the Kulipari to fight the scorpions.  The Turtle King trains the Kulipari.  When Darryl and Gee finally made it to the Turtle King, they found that there are only a few Kulipari.  Darryl, Gee and the Kulipari rode sailfish to the battlefield.  The Turtle King and his apprentice rode crocodiles to the battlefield.  During the battle, Darryl and Gee got captured by the lizards who took them to see the Scorpion Leader.  Darryl and Gee worked together to defeat the scorpion leader causing the scorpion army to become confused.  They then stopped fighting and retreated from the battlefield.  The book ends with Darryl getting appointed trainer of the other frogs because their enemies will be back.  I liked the book because it involves frogs and fighting.  Darryl is my favorite character because he tricked the scorpion lord and then defeated him.  I like the scorpions the least.  (Thank you, Rebecca, for sending us the book to review.)

This was a cute book and very entertaining.  This book demonstrates characters staying true to themselves despite the odds.  It demonstrates loyalty and how cleverness is more important than size, with just enough action to keep my child enchanted and entertained.  However, I do think the ending was rushed.  It very much felt like someone decided the book was getting too long so everything needed to be tied up and incentive given to purchase the next one.  I think this could have been done in a better fashion.  Despite this, we will be looking for the next book in order to continue with the adventures of Darryl and Gee.

[Melia Suez is a stay at home mom, a Hellenic polytheist, and the editor ofFrom Cave to Sky: A Devotional Anthology in Honor of Zeus.]

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