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The Hidden Life of a Toad

Follow the wonders of metamorphosis and the life history of a toad through close-up photos and a lively text. How exactly does a tadpole with gills turn into a toad with lungs?

Find out more about toads here.

What the reviewers say:

"This book can serve as a model for its type, with its clean layout, appropriate font, sharp photos, and accessible language. Ample backmatter that includes information on toad preservation and how the photographer did his work extends the wonder. A book that encourages observation and conservation and may start some young biologists off on their own lifelong quests to understand animals." -Kirkus Review (starred review)

"Kids may know the life stages of a toad: egg, tadpole, toadlet, and adult. But how do those radical changes take place? And what does the animal look like during its transformation from one stage to the next? ...

...Wechsler trained as a biologist before becoming a professional wildlife photographer and writer and it shows; the photos and text would interest students at many grade levels, but the short sentences and large type make the book accessible to younger readers. The back matter offers additional information on toads and the photographer's process. A fascinating look at toad development."-Booklist (starred review)

"Biologist and photographer Wechsler's chronicle of a toad's journey from embryo all the way to adulthood is insightful. The images-detailed full-color photographs-are everything a budding naturalist could wish for, right down to the warty close-ups." -School Library Journal

"Biologist and photographer Wechsler (Marvels in the Muck) documents the life cycle of a toad, providing crisp images, accompanied by poetic descriptions: "Tiny tadpoles school at the edge of the pond. The water is warm here, and too shallow for big, hungry fish. Tadpoles grow fast in warm water...

"...Wechsler's images provide a remarkable visual chronicle of an easily overlooked creature, and closing notes leave readers with additional facts about these amphibians." -Publisher's Weekly

"Yes, there are a zillion books for kids about toads, frogs, and tadpoles. Trust me, few are as terrific as The Hidden Life of a Toad (2017), photographer Doug Wechsler’s up-close and personal look at the fascinating stages of metamorphosis." -The Booklist Reader

"Doug Wechsler's children's book, The Hidden Life of a Toad is lovely. The author is a photographer and the graphics are compelling. The book describes the life cycle of toads. Life cycles is an important concept in early elementary science. Typically, kindergarten and first grade classrooms study butterflies but why not substitute toads?" -NSTA

"Best New Picture Books | March 2017" -The Children's Book Review

"This personal sense of wonder and discovery translates well into his text, inviting the audience to puzzle out stages of tadpole-to-toad development....This will be an excellent addition to primary-grade science collections."-Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

"Using detailed, close-up photos and easy-to-read text, this amazing informational picture book takes readers day by day through the life of a toad." -Annette's Reviews

"The text is a bit more challenging than Nic Bishop's nature books, but a little easier than Seymour Simon's. While this makes it a good choice for elementary level beginning readers, even middle school students will benefit from the detailed photographs outlining the stages in a simple way." -Ms. Yingling

"But the mystery that Doug Wechsler reveals is what happens after the eggs are laid. Usually, we can't get a good look at what is happening inside those long strands of eggs. But Wechsler's photos reveal it in incredible detail. Who would have thought that the arms almost pop out of their skins!" -Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education

"As a naturalist who has been teaching about toads for almost, gulp, 40 years, I've never seen photos quite like this and my staff has been passing the book around oohing and aahing the last week. They are stunning." -The Review (Roxborough, Philadelphia)

"You think you know toads? You do not know toads! Prepare to be amazed by eye-popping photos depicting the lifecycle of the animal from tiny egg to hopping toad. I also very much appreciated the author's info about protecting toads and conserving their habitats, as they, like most amphibians, are on the decline." -Peacegal on Goodreads