Between Tads and Toads


Worth reading 😎

A delightful, funny and curious little poetry book crafted with elaborate rhyme paired with wonderful illustrations.

Between Tads and Toads is curious, delightfully intimate, and very funny. I feel that there is a lot of potential to turn this into a successful children’s book instead of the poetry category.  Each section, The Pondlings, Picnic time, The Swimming Race, Fredric, and the Toads, Wintertime, The  Rescue, Frederick Speaks, could easily be turned into 7  books submitted as a series, and not a word would have to be changed. Set in the British countryside, rhymes are plenty and perfectly poised. The setting and love of nature reminded me of Beatrix Potter.

The black and white illustrations by Yornelys Zambrano are outstanding and make the book sing. The Cover design/layout by Luis Porem is reader-friendly and light. The group worked hard to put this little book together, and it shows.  I would love to see this in color!

Christine May is an Anglo Swedish writer and poet, and I quote, “Let the unknown become visible, and the truth becomes known.” And in her poetry book  Between Tads and Toads, the unknown is a winding road of adventures with a frog named Frederic.  May gives character and charm to Frederic, to his Tads (tadpole friends), and the Toads. On his journey Frederic begins to sort out his sexual identity and his relationship to the male and female tads and toads that cross his path. And that’s where May lets her sense of humor shine. Can you imagine a gay toad or frog, or how do you tell?  Is he or isn’t he? Can he be, or won’t he be? Enjoy this humorous description of Frederic.

He dressed with class and perfect match

and wore it just a bit detached.

Precisely proportioned unlike other frogs

he could wear any rags, still gorgeous he was.

When Frederic visits Club Delight and is asked to dance by a “dashing toad with a black briefcase” He struggles with his tights when he goes skiing on that fateful day.

 It is rare for me to laugh out loud in a book. But in this one, I did.

The tads, who were “very young just-developed legs and lung,” take bubble baths and use wooden sleighs in the winter instead of skis. But of course, they do. They have barely developed legs. But what are they doing in the snow in the first place? I thought Tads only lived in rivers. But who cares?  May is not afraid of taking her Tad, Toad, and Frogs to places that will bring a smile to your face, and you will fall in love with Frederic, who couldn’t be more thrilled to bring the reader along with him on his personal quest for his sexual identity.

Where I had the problem was defining the category. I don’t think poetry is where it belongs because that category limits readership. It’s more like a delightful curiosity that can find a large audience in the children's book world but that is entirely up to May.

Reviewed by

I have an M.A in Eng Lit, a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and the National Writers Union. I like defined character archs and plot structures. You will receive a honest review. "We are not here to race one another to the top but to keep others from falling down." Kayhallny@gmail


Between Tads and Toads is an illustrated story in verse for adults about pretty frog Frederic who struggles to fit in with the pondling society of toads, frogs and tads. Set by a pond in the idyllic British countryside where everything rhymes, life is an endless parade of picnics, swimming races and all things nice, except for Frederic.

"This whimsical verse story for adults about a depressed amphibian playboy will charm and intrigue readers."
-Booklife by Publisher's Weekly

About the author

Christine May is an Anglo-Swedish writer, poet and copywriter. No matter what style, she seeks to dig deep in her writing to let the unknown become visible and the truth become known. The themes she often returns to include love, mental health and the universe. view profile

Published on November 21, 2020

3000 words

Genre: Poetry

Reviewed by