If you’ve been following us a while you’ll know we are huge fans of the Oi Frog & Friends series from genius duo Kes Gray and Jim Field. We have all the books in the series and Ivy literally jumped for joy when the latest was delivered to our door.
A quick recap in case you’ve been living under a rock for the last few years and haven’t encountered these joyful stories before… Frog, Cat and Dog are 3 friends with a penchant for rhyme and a slightly unhealthy preoccupation with seating arrangements. Cat started the trend in book 1 (Oi Frog!) when she insisted that frogs can only sit on logs then Frog took up the baton in book 2 (Oi Dog!) and has been a tiny bit obsessed ever since.
I love picture books which encourage kids to embrace their unique qualities and this new story from Kes Gray and Fred Blunt is one of the best I’ve seen in a while.
Flinty Bo Diddle is a musician and he’s trying to write a a new piece of music to play on his fiddle. He lines up all the musical notes on the page and then starts to play. It’s all going very well until he gets half way through the tune and one little diddle goes dum.
The little diddle apologises for messing up the music but explains that that’s just how he is. He’s a diddle but sometimes he can’t help going dum.
We are massive fans of this zany series so when the newest book – Oi Puppies! – arrived, Ivy was bouncing off the ceiling.
Frog, Dog and Cat are back to discuss the important issue of where everyone should sit, but this time they have a slight problem. Dog is babysitting a zillion puppies and they just won’t behave. They clamber all over Dog, hang from Cat’s whiskers and even start chewing on poor Frog’s swimming trunks.
Something needs to be done, so Frog gets on the phone to the wonderfully named ‘Oi Animal Seating Supply Co.’ to try and arrange some suitable ‘chairs’.
When you think of Humpty Dumpty you can’t help but immediately picture him falling off a wall – but what if he could be so much more than that?
This brightly coloured book starts with Humpty sitting on his famous wall, talking about the future with his friends. One of them asks what he wants to be when he grows up and his response shocks them. He wants to be a boiled egg! Aghast, they suggest that he thinks outside of the box.
Wee Willie Winkie thinks Humpty should be a footballer, Little Bo Peep suggests he becomes a detective, whilst Mary Mary Quite Contrary thinks he would make a great musician. Soon everyone is sharing their career aspirations. Little Miss Muffet dreams of becoming a scientist, Goosey Gander plans to become a builder, and This Little Piggy wants to be a traffic warden!
This series of books by Kes Gray & Jim Field definitely wins the award for most random but we love them!
The book centres around a set of ‘rules’ which determine what different animals are allowed to sit on. The two main characters are a cat and a frog and the former is explaining the rules to the latter. The cat tells frog that he has to sit on a log – but he doesn’t want to! Logs aren’t comfortable and they give you splinters in your bottom -but unfortunately those are the rules!
The cat then explains all the other seat-based rules and they get more and more crazy. We see moles sitting on poles, lizards sitting on wizards, gophers sitting on sofas, gibbons sitting on ribbons and even fleas sitting on peas (Ivy’s favourite!).
We love Oi Frog! and Oi Dog! so when we spotted this new one from Kes Gray we knew we had to get it right away. We’re glad we did because it’s hilarious!
The story takes place at the Ministry of Silly Animal Names where a little Cockapoo puppy is waiting to change his name because his friends make fun of him. However he soon realises that compared to some he’s actually quite lucky! Whilst waiting in the queue he meets a Blue-Footed Booby, a Tasselled Wobbegong, a Monkeyface Prickleback and lots more (real!) animals with crazy names.
The names get sillier and sillier until we meet a little wasp who has a name that literally can’t be said without laughing. Can you guess what kind of wasp he is?
Quick Quack Quentin by Kes Gray and Jim Field always gives us the giggles!
Quentin is a duck with a very unusual problem. His quack has lost an A so he can only say quck. He goes to the doctor for help but the he can only offer him a D, O, C, T, O or R and those letters don’t help him at all.
Bemused, Quentin heads to a nearby farm to see he can borrow their A – but they’re not interested in becoming a frm and the farmer doesn’t want to be a frmer. He speaks to a dog, a hen, a pig and a bull who let him try out their vowels but a quock, a queck, a quick and a quuck just don’t sound right. What is poor Quentin going to do?
Oi Dog! is the second title in the zany ‘Oi Frog and Friends’ series. There are currently four books and we love each and every one!
If you’ve read book one – Oi Frog! – you’ll know that these bonkers tales are about a peculiar set of rules which dictate where an animal can sit. In the first story we met Cat, Dog and Frog. Cat explained that animals are only allowed to park their bums on things which rhyme – so cats sit on mats, frogs sit on logs and (unfortunately for this particular frog) dogs sit on frogs. Squish!
As we move in to book two we see the feisty frog choosing to rebel. He disagrees wholeheartedly with the current rules so sets about making some of his own.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family
Hullo, I’m Lucie. I live with my partner Mark and two children, Eloise 4 (& the all important 3/4) and Oliver 2. We live in Keynsham, a town squeezed between Bristol and Bath. I’m a packaging and branding designer.
What are your children’s favourite books?
Oliver’s favourite book is ‘Ten Little Pirates‘ by Mike Brownlow and Simon Rickerty. Each pirate peril is met with an “Oh NO!” and we are guaranteed an arm swooshing “Arrrrr” at the end followed by “again Mummy!”
It’s really hard to pin Eloise down to just one favourite book, she won’t go to bed without at least an armful to read, but at a push it would be something written by Julia Donaldson. She knows them off by heart and can be regularly heard reading them to her favourite soft toy, Rosie.
Since the UK lockdown was announced I have had lots of messages from parents who are looking for new books to entertain their little ones. To lighten the mood, I have put together a selection of all our funny favourites. Let us know if there are any you would add to our list!
The Book With No Pictures by BJ Novak – Without giving too much away, the basic premise is that the person reading the book has to read every single word out loud, whether they want to or not. Read the review.
Daddy Fartypants by Emer Stamp & Matt Hunt – Daddy Fartypants has a problem. He farts ALL THE TIME! And what’s worse is that he never owns up. Every time he does a bottom burp he blames someone else, whether that’s a tiny baby, a snail or a bear on the telly. Read the review.