Tag Archives: Frog and Toad Together

Silly Things – Frog and Toad Together & My Mum’s Sayings

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Frog and Toad Together
Arnold Lobel
Harper Collins Children’s Books pbk
Frog and Toad are two of my all time favourite characters; I’ve loved them for more years than I care to remember. In fact they featured in Learning to Read with Picture Books, a short book I wrote as a young teacher and what I said then still holds: Here it is – ‘This is a book no child learning to read should miss, and sets a standard by which we should judge all the books we offer to children at the crucial in-between stage (before completely assured, wide reading.) It contains five short stories about easy-going Frog, who is the ideal complement to the volatile Toad. The List (my favourite story) is a hilarious sequence in which Toad’s day is brought to a complete standstill when the wind whisks away his precious ‘list of things to do’. As always Frog is there to save the day.
The green and brown illustrations capture the humour of the text to perfection.
A book to read over and over again.
In the other four short stories Toad discovers that growing seeds is much harder than he thought, the friends test their will power, discover they’re not as brave as they hoped and Toad has a scary dream. This new edition is picture book size in contrast to the original much smaller I Can Read format, which looked much more like a ‘grown up’ book. I hope this doesn’t mean it won’t reach its intended audience: it’s such a great book and so good to see it back in print.

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My Mum Says the Silliest Things
Katrina Germein and Tom Jellett
Walker Books pbk
This is another title in the same vein as My Dad Thinks He’s Funny and My Dad Still Thinks He’s Funny. Here the elder of two brothers shares with readers some of the oft-uttered comments his mum addresses to him (and countless other adults make to children) –

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things said in all seriousness often, though the response is likely to be giggles, eye-rolling or shrugs from the recipient, all of which we get from the narrator. Every spread (except the finale) presents seemingly daft pronouncements and the title of the book either concludes or opens the scenarios, “When I’m noisy Mum says she can’t hear herself think. When I’m grumpy, Mum says you could land an aeroplane on my bottom lip” each of which is illustrated in quirky mixed media style.

 

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Jellett wittily encapsulates the textual wordplay and the idiosyncrasies of the English language.

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All in all, a fun tribute to mums – it would make an amusing offering for Mother’s Day or a birthday provided the mum in question has a good sense of humour. Smiles to the ready …

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