Ribbit! 🐸

Yesterday was Save the Frogs Day. It’s a US initiative but we couldn’t resist taking the opportunity to share our favourite frog books with you.

Frogs are endlessly fascinating to children. It’s no surprise, then, that some of our favourite books feature these creatures. Of course, there’s frog from Julia Donaldson’s ‘Acorn Wood’ series, Arnold Lobel’s Frog & Toad, Beatrix Potter’s Jeremy Fisher and, most famously, Kermit, but there are some other absolute gems that are guaranteed to be a hit with little ones…

Every parent is familiar with the ‘That’s Not My…’ series and, if you’re anything like me, you WISH you’d come up with the idea: so simple, yet *so* popular. Fiona Watt and Rachel Wells have created a failsafe combination of simple language and bright, engaging pictures that offer universal appeal. Small babies will love the tactile patches; older babies will enjoy finding the mouse on each page; toddlers, like Primrose, will start to repeat the adjectives, like ‘shiny’ and ‘rough’ and, of course, older children can start read the words themselves. That’s Not My Frog is one of over twenty titles now available., with ‘silky’ feet, ‘bumpy’ spots and ‘squishy’ tummy. Ribbit!
Available formats: Board book.

Next up is one of Primrose’s absolute favourites. I’m talking ‘Top Five Books of her 19 months on Earth’… Kes Gray and Jim Field’s Oi Frog not only features some *brilliant* illustrations – think brightly coloured, easily recognisable animals, with a humorous twist – but you cannot fail to be engaged by the ever-optimistic frog, who just wants a place to sit that ISN’T a log, and the officious cat who tells him exactly why he can’t sit anywhere else. It has great capacity for different voices – I like to read the cat’s parts with a sarcastic tone and the frog’s with an unassuming but ever so slightly desperate voice as the book progresses. Definitely one for parents as well as children!
Available formats: Board book, paperback, hardback and jigsaw board book.

What’s Frog Thinking? by Nico Hercules is a new find – I’d never heard of it until we discovered it in the library this week. It was written when Hercules’ daughter asked him what frogs think about. This book is his response, and it’s both witty and clever. I love the use of rhyme and the weird and wonderful scenarios conjured up for frog, such as his songwriting in the loo of an aeroplane and his chocolate fondue bath with three fat toads – just the kind of original ideas that children themselves come up with. Primrose loves the ending when the reader considers that, actually, frog might just be thinking about eating a juicy fly and ‘ZIP!’, out pops his tongue and the fly disappears!
Available formats: Board book.

Axel Scheffler is, perhaps, best known for illustrating books for Julia Donaldson; most notably The Gruffalo. However, he also has a few book ranges of his own. Pip and Posy is one of them. Aimed at children aged 3+, each book in the series has a message about kindness or friendship. In The Bedtime Frog, Posy has visited Pip’s house for a sleepover but forgets her favourite toy and it’s up to Pip to help her feel better.
Even for toddlers, these are lovely books – vibrant illustrations leap from each page in Scheffler’s unmistakable style, and there’s plenty of detail, so lots to ‘spot’ as you work your way through each of the 32 pages.

Available formats: Board book, paperback and hardback.

There’s not a great deal I can say about this final book – it’s not released until later this week (4th May). It is, however, guaranteed to be brilliant as it’s the latest publication by Ed Vere, whose Max at Night we reviewed a few months ago (here). Apparently, Grumpy Frog does not like losing! He needs to understand the power of friendship, of compromise and how to say ‘sorry’. Sounds like a useful tool for helping infants work through some big emotions and life skills, which can’t be a bad thing!
Ed is also speaking at Hay Literary Festival this year – keeping everything crossed that we get to attend his talk!
Available formats: Paperback and hardback.

Have we missed out YOUR favourite frog book. If so, tell us all about it!

Jo, The Mother Side xx


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