Leaping along nicely to our second review – ‘Oi, Frog!’ by Kes Gray and Jim Field. With a title like that, the giggles may start before you even turn to the first page of this little masterpiece!
The story itself starts with the same interjection from a rather pushy feline. He appears to be the self-appointed authority on wear animals can sit! Poor Frog is bewildered and desperately pleads as cat provides him with a crash course in allocated animal seating.
Each combination of animal and resting spot rhymes beautifully. It drives the reading rhythm and pace faster as the cat becomes increasingly frustrated with Frog! You can almost hear the cat gasping for breath after each list of animals and their specified spots. The book is an excellent introduction to the concept of rhyming for younger children, and readers of all ages will find themselves trying to guess which animal and place is coming next.
All of the illustrations, vivid in their own right, are set against strikingly colourful backdrops. Their true genius lies in the brilliant manner in which Jim Field has depicted the range of expressions for the animals, dependent upon their fortune (or lack thereof!) when it comes to the strict rules of seating.
Unlike many young children’s books, there is no lesson in morality here. The Cat does declare, “It’s not about being comfortable…It’s about doing the right thing,” but there is no need to look for a deeper, hidden meaning – this book is all about the whimsical. So sit back, relax and prepare to have your ribs tickled!
Did you think of any other animal and seating combinations as you read the book? You might like to try ‘Oi, Dog!’ the follow up caper to see what happens next!
The next Ginormous Tales review will be ‘Five Minutes’ Peace’ by Jill Murphy.