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Tadpole's Promise [Paperback]

Jeanne Willis , Tony Ross
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
RRP: 6.99
Price: 5.24 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

17 Mar 2005

Tadpole loves his rainbow friend, the caterpillar, and she tells him she loves everything about him. "Promise that you will never change," she says. 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 a butterfly, Tadpole little realises that now he will never know!

Follow the predictable changes of a tadpole and a caterpillar to their natural conclusion in this award winning picture book.

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Tadpole's Promise + The Bog Baby + The King of Tiny Things
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Product details

  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Andersen; New Ed edition (17 Mar 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1842704265
  • ISBN-13: 978-1842704264
  • Product Dimensions: 25.7 x 20.1 x 0.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 56,687 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jeanne Willis is an award-winning children's author, published worldwide. She has written over 150 books including picture books, novelty, teen novels and poetry. She was shortlisted for the Whitbread for her novel Naked Without a Hat, won the Smarties Silver for Tadpole's Promise, the Nasen Special Needs Award for Susan Laughs and many more besides. Recently, she won the Sheffield for Who's in The Loo and is short-listed for The Red House Children's Book Award for Bottoms Up. Her novel Dumb Creatures is in production.
Jeanne has over 20 years experience as an advertising copywriter and has created T.V, cinema and radio commercials for major clients including Heinz, Mencap and British Gas (If you see Sid, tell him!) She has also written hundreds of T.V scripts including The Slow Norris, Dog and Duck, The Twins, Maisy (Best Script, British Animation Awards) Marvellous Milly, The Ark, Upstairs Downstairs Bears, Dr Xargle and The Wombles.
Jeanne Lives in North London with two kids, two cats, a rabbit, 99 tadpoles and a Bogbaby.

Product Description


"Unforgettable." (Guardian)

"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)

"'It's terrific.'" (Posy Simmonds Posy Simmonds)

"'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.'" (Alison Kelly Books for Keeps)

Book Description

The award-winning, unpredictable picture book from this best-selling author/artist team now available for the first time in paperback.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Glad I read it first! 6 Jun 2008
This was a present for my little one and I dug it out to read to him in conjunction with the "Spring" theme his class is looking at at nursery.

I'm glad I read it first as I WON'T be reading it to him anytime soon.

If you have a sensitive, emotional little child like I have I wouldn't recommend the book. If however your son or daughter has a gorier, more mature sense of humour then this would be appropriate.

Not for us.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tadpole's Promise 24 Feb 2005
By A Customer
As a teacher I have to pick new books each year for my class of 3-4 year olds. As I stood in the library van reading through books I just had to laugh out loud at this one - and thank my lucky stars that I am in a job where I get paid to read such books! I couldn't wait to get back to show this to all the adults in the room. Everyone expects a sloppy, happy ending & that's why it's so good. Any one with a sense of humour should love this book. The children love the 'nasty' surprise too. Excellent book
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nature raw in tooth and claw.... 15 Jan 2007
I have to say this book surprised my wife and I as much as our two year old when we first read it to her. It's now tucked safely under the bed until she's a little older, by which time she'll doubtless appreciate the humour in this gory little story. That said, if you're not sure how to introduce themes of death and predation to your little one then this is the book for you.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely book! 12 May 2006
I read this book to my Reception class as part of our 'change' topic and promptly passed it around the school! It has lovely illustrations and a very sweet story with a great surprise at the end. It's a mini-tragedy, but the children adored it and keep begging for me to read it again. I would highly recommend it!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic! 11 Jun 2010
By Madge
I absolutely love this book. I read it to my Reception class for the first time this year, and they love it too. Almost every time I read it it brings a tear to my eye!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Book for adolescents 29 Oct 2007
Try reading this to a group of adolescents in PSHE. "You said you'd never change". The poor boy (tadpole) just doesn't understand women.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So funny! 20 Sep 2007
I first came across this story when it was read to us at the end of a long day of teacher training. I laughed and laughed! Even if you don't feel you could read it to your kids (although I'm going to, have bought copies for friends too!)it'll bring a real happy moment to your own day. I also loved the way you turn the pages 'up' rather than across, a lovely, unique way of presenting a story
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant! 7 May 2012
By Loob
I love the dark humour (and teaching possibilities) offered by this book. If you don't read a book yourself before reading it to your children then - well - you can't really blame the author if the content isn't appropriate! I wouldn't read it to my three year old just yet (not sure she'd get it without long macabre explanations), but for 6 years plus I think it's brilliant.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy it for every 7/8 year old you know!
Fabulous book with an unexpected twist in the end. One of my all time favourites and a must for all children with a wicked sense of humour!
Published 1 month ago by Mrs L Rondeau
5.0 out of 5 stars Great!
Used this as part of a Science lesson on Life Cycles. Great use of illustrations to show the life cycle of a butterfly and frog. It's also very funny!
Published 2 months ago by Jenny Royle
5.0 out of 5 stars Tapoles promise
I bought this book for my daughter who is a teacher for 4/5 yr olds, she wanted it for her class and was delighted with it. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Rose
5.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious
Well, I and my two younger boys find this book hilarious. Although initially surprised at the end, it turned to smirks and laughter as we read it more often. Read more
Published 2 months ago by C. C. Dyer
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent quality second-hand book
This second-hand library came in like-new condition. The story itself is fantastic and the end will leave you shocked andin stitches. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Felicia Almonds
5.0 out of 5 stars tadpole's promise
This book is a really good simple concept.It teaches children not to make promises that they are not able to or sure that they can keep.
Published 4 months ago by geraldine
1.0 out of 5 stars Feel extremely let down and sad
I borrowed this book from the library today and read it to my 4 year old at bedtime. I had not read it first (just looked at the first couple of pages) as I presumed that a short... Read more
Published 4 months ago by oriel2
4.0 out of 5 stars More for 5to 8 year old
Yes it is a lovely book but the fact that one of the main characters gets eaten at the end could be a bit traumatic for a sensitive child. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Franks nana
5.0 out of 5 stars A marmite book
You either love it or hate it.....I love it. Read to many a child and adult and watched their faces with reactions as the story unfolds. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Ann M.
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun
A really delightful story. Lots of scope for discussion about life cycles and PSHE themes. Children love it, even with the gruesome ending!
Published 10 months ago by Stephaine Bratley
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