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Jennifer Murdley's Toad por Bruce…
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Jennifer Murdley's Toad (original 1993; edição 1992)

por Bruce Coville

Séries: Magic Shop Books (3)

MembrosCríticasPopularidadeAvaliação médiaMenções
6621326,297 (3.8)10
When an ordinary-looking fifth grader purchases a talking toad, she embarks on a series of extraordinary adventures.
Título:Jennifer Murdley's Toad
Autores:Bruce Coville
Informação:Jane Yolen Books (1992), Paperback
Colecções:A sua biblioteca
Etiquetas:chapter book, making friends, fiction

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Jennifer Murdley's Toad por Bruce Coville (1993)

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Mostrando 1-5 de 13 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
  lcslibrarian | Aug 13, 2020 |
Replaced by better copy, Saline sale, 2006-10 ( )
  ME_Dictionary | Mar 19, 2020 |
'Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher' might be the crowd favorite, but 'Jennifer Murdley's Toad' is truly deserving, a perfect modern fairy tale.

Jennifer, a girl in a "plain brown wrapper", is insecure about herself because of her looks and is often teased at school. Like in his best books, Coville takes time to develop Jennifer before magic happens to her. She's a thoughtful, kind girl and is mortified when, at the beginning of the book, must go to school wearing her brother's underwear. She confides in her best friend Ellen, who told Annette, who told Maya, who told Sharra, who naturally told everybody. It made for a particularly bad day. Escaping from the teasing on the walk home from school, Jennifer finds Mr. Elives' shop. Wanting a pet she leaves with a $.75 toad, who, before too long, starts talking.

The toad, Bufo, is a demanding creature who can do perfect voice impressions. This makes for a funny story, especially when she takes him to school and he gets the angelic, snotty Sharra in trouble. But the story goes deeper than that. The best thing about the 'Magic Shop' books is that it's not only the main character who gets helped by his or her item, but those around them find their lives shaken up and improved by the actions brought about by magical means.

Jennifer, Ellen, her brothers and even Sharra are all pulled along on an adventure when it turns out there's somebody who wants Bufo, very badly. The main theme is of course the importance of inner beauty over outer beauty, as with Jennifer and Sharra and also the incorporation of the fairy tale about the mean, beautiful daughter and the nice, ugly daughter encountering an old woman in the woods. They are alternately punished and rewarded because of their actions. Coville acknowledges that appearances matter, there's no getting around it, but there are more important qualities.

It's telling that in the afterword that Coville mentioned the desire to be "true" to Jennifer's character, because with the possible exception of Duncan Dougal ('My Teacher Fried My Brains', but it's been years since I read it) there is no other Coville character who merits that sentiment. Coville refused to give her the traditional fairy tale ending (becoming pretty) that would reinforce our culture's emphasis on surface appearances. I loved the ending of this and appreciated how Jennifer gets the warmest reception of anybody else from Mr. Elives' at the end of the story. Coville's best work comes from merging the high and the low, using attention-grabbing story-lines involving wacky magical creatures and joining them with deep multi-faceted characters and strong positive messages. Jennifer Murdley is authentic. I never read this when I was younger, but I wish I had.

Magic Shop

Next: 'The Skull of Truth'

Previous: 'Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher' ( )
  ManWithAnAgenda | Feb 18, 2019 |
A well crafted book, easy to read and fun. Very satisfying. The theme of beauty works nicely. The fantasy elements are limited and not explored completely, except for the wonderful toad. Winner of the California Young Readers Medal and Dorothy Canfield Fisher Award. ( )
  Inky_Fingers | Oct 30, 2012 |
This book is about a plain girl named Jennifer Murdley who buys a magical talking toad from a mysterious vanishing magic store. The toad, named Bufo, cannot hold his tongue and before Jennifer knows it, she is in a big mess of trouble. Bufo makes the mistake of kissing one of Jennifer’s classmates unaware that if the change lasts more than 10 hours it is permanent. While alternating being toad and human, Jennifer discovers that a beautiful witch is after Bufo. Bufo reveals that the witch is essentially his mother and she is seeking the jewel imbedded in his forehead so that she can have “perfect happiness”. In the end, the witch is defeated and Bufo is safe.

I hadn’t read this book since the 3rd grade so it was very different reading it as an adult. I thought the story line was very clever and the details were vivid enough to get lost in. I also enjoyed the full-page illustrations scattered throughout the book. The theme of the book was good. I liked the idea that being a beautiful person on the inside will always be better than just being beautiful on the outside. Overall, I enjoyed the book very much.

Classroom Extension Ideas:
1. The class can do a study on the lifecycle of the toad or the frog. They can do research and write reports to present to the class. If the teacher is able to get ahold of some tadpoles to bring to school, the class can watch as the tadpole metamorphoses.
2. At the end of the story, Jennifer is given 2 rats by the man in the magic shop to look after. The class can write some stories predicting what will happen next. They can write their predictions in the form of a book and make illustrations to go with their stories. The teacher can bind them and put them in the book area. ( )
  Andycat | Oct 28, 2012 |
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Nome do autorPapelTipo de autorObra?Estado
Bruce Covilleautor principaltodas as ediçõescalculated
Lippincott, Gary A.Ilustradorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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For all the beauty victims
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If Jennifer Murdley hadn't been forced to wear her brother's underpants to school, the whole thing might never have happened.
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When an ordinary-looking fifth grader purchases a talking toad, she embarks on a series of extraordinary adventures.

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