by Ahmed Adeyanju (Excerpt from Y! Issue 4)
Title: City Dog, Country Frog
Author: Mo Willems and Jon J. Muth
Publisher: Hyperion Book
I started my search for a book to review a few months ago. I went through all the motions, searched for big name authors, browsed through the literary prize lists. Sigh. Nothing seemed attractive. Then I remembered my 8 year old nephew, my teenage self and the books that I liked to read.
Mo Willems’ City Dog, Country Frog is a gorgeous book, which conveys a beautiful lesson on how we go on after loss, and how each life affects the lives it touches. The watercolours are wonderfully expressive, and full of life and character.
It presents a heartfelt reflection on the natural course of friendship and life. The book is detailed in full colour with illustrations by Jon J Muth. Everyone can see the love the characters have for each other in the wagging of City Dog’s tail to the giant grin on Country Frog’s face.
We run through books that give us thrill and excitement and we often forget what it is like to linger in the joy of a well-told, really simple story. The lingering effect is that of a life that has meaning even through loss as City Dog establishes a friendship with Country Frog only to not find him when he returns the next spring… but hey! He meets Country Chipmunk on that same spot.
Elegantly told and beautifully illustrated, it is a bit of a sad story but a touching kind of sad. It has the kind of sadness that is tinged with hope, with the certainty that it will all get better. Willems and Muth make an incredible team and I will be looking out for all the books they have done together. Y!