You’d think it would be hard to match Oi Frog!, deservedly one of the most popular picture books of recent times, and a book that delightfully highlights the absurdity of arbitrary rules (and phonics reading schemes), but this team has done it. While Cat was in charge in Oi Frog!, here Frog himself gets his own back. ‘I’m changing the rules’, he explains: from now on dogs must sit on logs, cats on gnats (ouch). He quickly gets the hang of it, assigning slugs to sit on plugs, moths to cloths and leopards to shepherds. Asked by Dog what whales will sit on, he picks nails. ‘I’m not sure the whales will like that says the dog, ‘They don’t have to like it,’ says the frog, ‘they just have to do it.’ The comic timing is impeccable and Jim Field’s illustrations are priceless, the characters, both stars and supporting cast, wonderfully expressive – particular favourites include a bemused gnu in a canoe, and a disgruntled elephant on a pile of smelly pants. It all culminates with a surprise twist in the tail too.
This is a perfect book for sharing, whether one to one, or at storytimes. Children will love the silliness, and indeed the naughtiness of a book that exposes the limitations of rules. Wonderful!