Official Review: The Boiling Frog by Phillip Leighton-Daly

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Miriam Molina
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Official Review: The Boiling Frog by Phillip Leighton-Daly

Post by Miriam Molina » 04 Oct 2019, 17:54

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "The Boiling Frog" by Phillip Leighton-Daly.]
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2 out of 4 stars
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Lucidia, a blind and mute prophetess, has been banished to the Badlands by the president of Soot, The Grand Poffo. This was in response to the people’s clamor to stop her from pestering them with her heretical claims. You see, Lucidia has been coming to the marketplace every day and cooking live frogs in a pot. She was showing the people that a frog that is put in a pot of cold water will not notice the increasing temperature; the frog stays in the pot until it is cooked. This was her way of telling her people to stop destroying the environment by burning coal. In persistent dreams, she has been seeing prophetic visions of their planet Fossil dying out because of the consistent burning of coal and people perishing as a result. The people mocked and insulted her, branding her a heretic.

The Boiling Frog is a short story written by Phillip Leighton-Daly to conscientize young adults and even those much younger to the perils of abusing Mother Nature. The story comes at this opportune time. The world’s young people are awakening to the terrifying phenomenon of climate change. Many are emulating Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old Swedish environmental activist. The author is himself a nature enthusiast who has spent many hours in the Bungonia wilderness in New South Wales, Australia.

The main character Lucidia is blind, but she can see better than those with perfect eyesight. Her urgent message to save the environment is ignored, though. This reaction mirrors the present scenario where many world leaders still deny the reality of climate change and even brand those overly concerned as alarmists. The choice of the book’s audience is excellent as the youth of today will be those who will inherit the troubles of nature’s revenge.

I like the author’s inclusion of the usefulness of flora and fauna in the wilderness; he may have personally concocted healthy and delicious meals using the same ingredients. I also appreciate the author’s allusion to popular literature like The Lord of the Rings and the Bible. The names used for the characters and locations are clever; for instance, the city is called Soot, and the villains are the twins Louse and Cur.

I find the use of a blind person effective, but I would have wanted Lucidia to be able to speak, like Helen Keller. Lucidia's inability to verbalize puts her in an extremely disadvantaged position. The author may have reasons for giving Lucidia a lot of hurdles, though. A preface or afterword may be needed to expound on those reasons.

The book title is appropriate. The fable of the boiling frog has been an effective metaphor used by climate activists, including Al Gore. However, illustrations could be incorporated to heighten the impact of the story. The copy I reviewed had none. This book’s message is an important one that would benefit from engaging visuals.

Unfortunately, I find the editing wanting. Grammar lapses pepper the six pages. These include misspelled character names, wrong word usage, and misused commas.

I rate the book 2 out of 4 stars, taking away two stars for the many errors, considering the brevity of the book. I believe in the book’s message and feel that it needs to be heard by many, old and young alike. The young, young adults and younger, are especially enjoined to read the book. Humanity has to act now, lest our children and those after them boil without feeling the heat.

******
The Boiling Frog
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Post by kandscreeley » 05 Oct 2019, 17:33

I'm a little disturbed by the fact that she's trying to prove we should save the environment by boiling frogs. I feel like I'm missing something. In any case, I think I'll wait for better editing. Thanks.
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Post by Miriam Molina » 05 Oct 2019, 20:11

kandscreeley wrote:
05 Oct 2019, 17:33
I'm a little disturbed by the fact that she's trying to prove we should save the environment by boiling frogs. I feel like I'm missing something. In any case, I think I'll wait for better editing. Thanks.
The fable has been used widely for the purpose. Her being blind and mute has to do with her way of delivering her message, I guess. There seems to be irony, though, because she has to torture the poor creatures. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Sarah!

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Post by Amanda Deck » 06 Oct 2019, 07:10

I definitely wouldn't read this or give it to a kid because of the animal torture aspect. It negates the point, in my opinion. Besides, I prefer to focus on all the steps we are taking to save the environment. For example, that boy who developed the ocean clean-up apparatus that's finally effective. He didn't accuse, he worked with adults to make a difference. We've made progress and people are doing a lot. I despised Greta's virulent hatred, but then I'm in the US and don't know what steps her country has(n't) been taking to help.

I realize that story of the frogs does make a great point that applies to many situations though.

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Post by Miriam Molina » 06 Oct 2019, 15:42

Amanda Deck wrote:
06 Oct 2019, 07:10
I definitely wouldn't read this or give it to a kid because of the animal torture aspect. It negates the point, in my opinion. Besides, I prefer to focus on all the steps we are taking to save the environment. For example, that boy who developed the ocean clean-up apparatus that's finally effective. He didn't accuse, he worked with adults to make a difference. We've made progress and people are doing a lot. I despised Greta's virulent hatred, but then I'm in the US and don't know what steps her country has(n't) been taking to help.

I realize that story of the frogs does make a great point that applies to many situations though.
The author used but six pages for this work. There are many metaphors in the story. I really push him to write a preface or something to clarify his points. Those frogs were used with the intent of saving a greater number of creatures. Some do make sacrifices for the greater good.

Thanks for your thoughts.

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Post by MsH2k » 07 Oct 2019, 00:48

This book sounds like quite an undertaking for six pages! Climate change is a very important topic to address, especially for upcoming generations. It’s unfortunate that there were so many grammatical errors. Thank you for your review!

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Post by Katie Canedy » 07 Oct 2019, 01:07

When I saw the title The Boiling Frog, it definitely caught my attention! After reading your review, I feel that the book contradicts itself greatly. If saving the world by not burning coal is so important, why it is okay to hurt animals to prove that? Just a thought that I had. :)
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Post by Miriam Molina » 07 Oct 2019, 01:45

MsH2k wrote:
07 Oct 2019, 00:48
This book sounds like quite an undertaking for six pages! Climate change is a very important topic to address, especially for upcoming generations. It’s unfortunate that there were so many grammatical errors. Thank you for your review!
It is short to cater to the young crowd. There are deep messages, though, for the more mature. The frogs may have been sacrificed for the message. The animals used were cane toads, considered pests in Australia. That's not to say it's fine to kill them.

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Post by Miriam Molina » 07 Oct 2019, 16:58

Katie Canedy wrote:
07 Oct 2019, 01:07
When I saw the title The Boiling Frog, it definitely caught my attention! After reading your review, I feel that the book contradicts itself greatly. If saving the world by not burning coal is so important, why it is okay to hurt animals to prove that? Just a thought that I had. :)
The metaphor of the boiling frog has been used by many environment-concerned groups; the frogs in the story laid down their lives for the cause. The author may have to pen a few lines to explain that part of the story.

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Post by Katie Canedy » 07 Oct 2019, 16:59

Yes an explanation would be great! I am sure it is a metaphor, but that thought that frogs just sit and take their slow death that way is just so sad to think about. :)
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Post by Miriam Molina » 07 Oct 2019, 17:26

Katie Canedy wrote:
07 Oct 2019, 16:59
Yes an explanation would be great! I am sure it is a metaphor, but that thought that frogs just sit and take their slow death that way is just so sad to think about. :)
And what if that frog were a prince!

I do realize what you mean.

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Post by evraealtana » 07 Oct 2019, 18:18

What an important message - and what a sad end for the frogs :( As usual, the words go unheard, this time literally. Thank you for your review.

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Post by Miriam Molina » 07 Oct 2019, 18:48

evraealtana wrote:
07 Oct 2019, 18:18
What an important message - and what a sad end for the frogs :( As usual, the words go unheard, this time literally. Thank you for your review.
It is sad that Greta and the other kids who are fighting for their future are being bashed by the rich, mighty, and supposedly enlightened. These people should take the place of the frogs.

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Post by Everydayadventure15 » 07 Oct 2019, 19:08

Interesting way to raise awareness about climate change. Too bad it had so many errors.

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Post by Miriam Molina » 07 Oct 2019, 19:21

Everydayadventure15 wrote:
07 Oct 2019, 19:08
Interesting way to raise awareness about climate change. Too bad it had so many errors.
The author was a primary school teacher for a long time; I wonder why he failed to correct those errors. I hope he addresses the errors and the troubling issue about "cooking" the frogs.

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