A Read-Aloud with John and Ann Hassett: Too Many Frogs

This post is part of a series of videos by Maine-based children’s book authors and illustrators reading aloud. This week, we’re featuring John and Ann Hassett,  the author and illustrator of Too Many Frogs. Doctors in Maine gave Too Many Frogs to 5-year-olds back in 2012 as part of a Raising Readers’ anthology.

This excerpt was taken from the anthology titled Maine Stories for Maine Children: A Raising Readers Collection

Like Nana Quimby in Too Many Frogs, John and Ann Hassett sometimes find frogs in their cellar, especially after it rains and puddles cover the floor. John is likely to scoop the frogs up and take them to a nearby pond or brook. Ann, however, thinks she will never pick up a frog. Although John and Ann share the love of creating picture books, they do not share a love of frog catching.

John loved catching frogs as a boy, finding hundreds of them along his pond’s weedy edges. In any of Maine’s ponds or slow-moving streams, you might find one of the eight varieties of frogs that live here. The biggest is the bullfrog and the tiniest is the spring peeper. The peeper is no bigger than a dime, and the tips of its small toes have suction cups to help it hold onto grass or sticks.

It’s okay to just watch frogs or listen to their calls on a spring night like Ann does. Doing so helped her create a third book about Nana Quimby with John. In Cat Up A Tree, Mouse in the House, and Too Many Frogs, Nana Quimby seems to always get into situations with too many animals in the house. First it was cats, then came a tiger, then a mouse, then an elephant, and so on. When Nana was living with her grandchildren, there got to be such a parade of animals that she moved to Florida. The Hassetts are no strangers to a house full of animals. They live on a farm in Waterboro, Maine with a dogs, a cat, a rabbit, and a yard full of fat squirrels.

John and Ann read many books as children and read many books to their children. All those stories led to a career in creating and illustrating books of their own. After 30 years, the stories and the pictures keep coming to the Hassetts, just like the peepers come each year to sing us to sleep.

Head on over to our Facebook Read-Aloud Group by clicking here (or click on the image below) to see the Hassett’s reading aloud Too Many Frogs.


Explore More Books By the Hassett’s

Can’t Catch Me
Cat Up A Tree
Charles of the Wild
Father Sun, Mother Moon
Goodnight Bob
Junior, A Little Loon Tale
Moose on the Loose
Mouse in the House
The Finest Christmas Tree
The Nine Lives of Dudley Dog
Three Silly Girls Grubb
We Got My Brother at the Zoo
Come Back, Ben

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