About the Author and the Artist


This ebook for children, The Adventures of Almost Hardly the Frog, is a lively and humorous poetic narrative by Jim Kline, Illustrated by Penny Bradley. The intended readers are fourth graders through middle schoolers for whom it provides a good springboard to a discussion of frogs, snakes, grammar, dialect, and poetry. Study guides and worksheets are available at no cost at the publishers website www.instructionalsystems.org. A primary school version of this story, Almost Frog Stories 1-2-3 will be available soon on the Instructional Systems website.

This book is about a young frog who almost gets in trouble almost all of the time but hardly ever passes up the opportunity to meet new swamp critters including two children who have totally different opinions of frogs. Almost Hardly learns about the abundant rewards and occasional dangers of curiosity as well as the value of persistence and perseverance. Our illustrator has captured Almost’s close calls vividly and memorably.

The story is told in the poetic dialect we call “Swamp Talk,” the use of which reinforces the idea that there is nothing to be ashamed of about speaking your own particular language or dialect, but there is much value in learning more about and using the main language in which you must play, learn, and work. For the benefit of the young reader, the book includes a brief description of “swamp talk” and a glossary of some of its words.

The author, Jim Kline, is a retired college teacher (Language, Literature, and English as a Second Language) who earned degrees from Georgia Southern College (BS 1964), the University of Georgia (MA 1967) and the University of Nevada Reno (Ph D 1972). He has written poetry for young readers ( Hoggerel, The Frog and the Snake); however, this is his first children’s book. He and his wife Mary live in Aiken, SC where they entertain and are entertained by numerous grandchildren and great grandchildren.

The Illustrator, Penny Bradley, earned a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Painting and Drawing from the University of Georgia in 1968. After raising their three children in the Atlanta area, she and her husband Jim have happily retired to the Northeast Georgia Mountains. Surrounded by nature’s beauty, the blessings of family, and the joy of three young grandchildren, she has been able to devote full time to her love of watercolor painting.

The Bradleys and the Klines have been friends since their days together at the University of Georgia in the 1960's. We hope you enjoy the adventures of our frog, Almost Hardly. Follow the link below to see a sample of Penny's watercolors.

For Waterolors,
click here.