Cover image for The mysterious tadpole
The mysterious tadpole
Kellogg, Steven.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Dial Press, [1977]

It soon becomes clear that Louis's pet tadpole is not turning into an ordinary frog.
General Note:
Accompanied by cassette.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 3.6 0.5 19584.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PIC.BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
PIC.BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books

On Order



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, is one of Steven Kellogg's most popular books. It was an ALA Notable, an IRA-CBC Children's Choice, and won the Irma Simonton Black Award. For its anniversary, Steven has reworked aspects of the story and has created entirely new artwork in the bright, bold colors that weren't reproducible twenty-five years ago. He discusses why he wanted to revise the book in a lively author's note.

Author Notes

Stephen Kellogg was born in Norwalk, Connecticut on October 26, 1941. He attended the Rhode Island School of Design and majored in illustration. While in college, he won a fellowship to spend his senior year studying and working in Florence, Italy.

Kellogg has illustrated over one hundred titles and written some of his own. Titles he has written include the Island of the Skog, which won the Michigan State Young Readers Award, and was included on Booklist's Books for Every Child and the CBC Books for Peace list, A Rose for Pinkerton!, Pinkerton, Behave!, and Tallyho, Pinkerton!

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

PreS^-Gr. 2. For the twenty-fifth-anniversary edition of The Mysterious Tadpole, Kellogg offers a somewhat expanded version of the story along with new artwork. As before, Louis receives a birthday present from his uncle in Scotland: Alphonse, an amiable tadpole that outgrows his bowl, the bathtub, and even the apartment. In the new version, Louis enrolls Alphonse (in his dog-size phase) in obedience school as "a hairless spotted water spaniel from Scotland," bolstering the plot a little and adding some Pinkertonesque scenes. In the appended author's note, Kellogg mentions that the "economics of printing" in 1977 demanded preseparation of colors in the art. Whether the result of technological progress or of changes in Kellogg's style over the last quarter century, the new illustrations are bigger, bolder, brighter, and brimming with lively details. Some may miss the muted tones of the original art, but odds are that children will find the new edition irresistible. --Carolyn Phelan

Publisher's Weekly Review

Louis gets the gift that keeps on giving or growing, rather. The story about a boy and his burgeoning birthday present returns in a 25th-anniversary edition featuring revised text and full-color illustrations. Ages 4-up. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Gr 1-3-Louis receives a little tadpole as a birthday gift from his uncle McAllister. Affectionately named Alphonse, the tadpole comes from Scotland and has an appetite for cheeseburgers. Is it his diet that makes him grow the way he does? Or something more mysterious? Louis must find a way to accommodate his enormous pet, which he does with the help of his friend Ms. Seevers, the librarian. This amusing and imaginative story written and illustrated by Steven Kellogg recently celebrated its 25th anniversary. The special edition book (Penguin, 2002) includes new illustrations by Kellogg. Kevin Free superbly narrates the audio version of the new edition, using amusing voices for the characters and a proper Scottish accent for Uncle McAllister. One side of the cassette includes page-turn signals and the other is straight narration. Since the text relies heavily on the illustrations, listeners must have the book available. -April Mazza, Wayland Free Public Library, MA(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. All rights reserved.