A visitor hopped into Gram’s garden, so the artist paints a book about him for her granddaughter. What a difficult journey this young toad Gem has survived to get there!

Not every toad could safely cross the road, find romance in a country pond, and evade a hunting hawk! No wonder Gram thinks he is a rare gem of a toad.

Hobbie’s beautiful watercolor illustrations are brimming with life and realistic details, from Gem’s expressive and shining eyes to the knobbly car tires that scare the young toad away from the road. The yellow dandelions seen throughout his lengthy trek to Gram’s garden are echoed in granddaughter Hope’s shirt and the nighttime moths that Gem enjoys under a full moon.

The only words in this book are Gram’s message to Hope at the beginning and her granddaughter’s reply letter at the end. Young listeners will want to pick out favorite parts of each springtime picture page in this lovely, gentle tale of persistence and the natural world.

Recommended by: Katy Manck, Librarian-at-Large (retired academic/corporate/school librarian), Gilmer, Texas, USA

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