Evelyn Lemberger has written a good-hearted picture book for children ages 4-8, teaching them that anything is possible if you believe in the power of positive thinking. Her hero is Furmin, a friendly, curious and thoughtful frog. When the pond he calls home gets horribly polluted, he comes up with a creative plan to clean it up and meets many new friends along the way.
The book opens with Furmin mistakenly stumbling over a lonely dragonfly named Clyde. The frog coaxes the dragonfly into thinking positive thoughts, and before the sad dragonfly knows it, he has a new best friend in Furmin. Together, the new chums set off to the country fair believing they will figure out how Furmin can enter the frog-jumping contest, win a hundred dollars, and use the prize money to clean up the pond. When the friends meet Billy, they find just the boy they need to make their dream a reality. With some jumping practice and a little help from Billy’s father, the exciting race is won hands-down and the pond is returned to good health.
With colorful, child-like illustrations by Julie Malcom, Furmin and Clyde Think Positive is an entertaining, read-aloud adventure. The book’s positive and inspirational message is to be applauded, but its punctuation, spelling and grammar errors are a needless and constant distraction. Also, children may want to know more about how the pond is cleaned up. While positive thinking can often inspire great change in the world, it is best matched with a practical and specific idea or two. Despite these flaws, the book tells a happy story that should keep youngsters engaged.