Superfrog is the jet-propelled hero who saves the day when the big city is becoming too polluted and his once pretty pond too clogged up with stinking rubbish. Tapping into the bathroom humour of young readers, Superfrog emits super farts so strong, they send him into the sky. Pied Piper like, Superfrog is then followed by an ever-growing army of children who cheer him on, as he flies to the tallest tower where the villain of the piece does his dirty business.
‘Stop spoiling our world!’ the children shout and when the nasty little man tries to ignore their request, Superfrog points his bum at him and threatens to blow him away with his supersonic farts. So the leaking pipes are mended, the rubbish recycled and the river cleaned. Superfrog returns to his sparkling pond, forever keeping a weather eye on the now improved city.
Michael Foreman’s watercolours are a perfect conduit for this nature-loving story and there is some evocative writing which demonstrates his undoubted sincerity. The fact that the children cheered rather than laughed at Superfrog’s emissions seems the key to this story, for when something children are readily able to do becomes a serious defence against a ruined world it can make them feel less powerless. This method of tackling greed and pollution with humour seemed somewhat forced to me. However, I am assured it would be a big hit with kids, so bring it on, Superfrog!