Written by: Kes Gray
Illustrated by: Jim Field
Published in 2014
Genre: Picture Book
Grade Level: Preschool-K
Summary: Frog does not want to sit on an uncomfortable log. Cat tells him he must, because it’s simply the right thing to do. Frogs sit on logs, cats sit on mats, hares sit on chairs, and so on. It’s the way of things.
Yet another Scholastic Book Fair find. I had briefly glanced at this book before buying it and thought it looked cute, so I went ahead and got it without reading it through.
On my first read through I was very confused. Most of the rhymes worked, but not all of them. Specifically, gophers and sofas, lions and irons, and gorillas and pillars. After examining the book closer I found out that it was originally published in the UK, and finally things made sense. I reread the book with an (admittedly awful) British accent, and those rhymes made sense with the “r”s dropped.
The rhyming issue was really a disappointment to me, as I had been into the book up until the first problem arose. I work with a deaf kindergarten student, and teaching rhyming, especially with all of the weird spelling patterns in English is hard enough without adding in accents from another country. Even minor accent differences between a teacher and student can cause confusion, so this is defiantly not a book I would recommend using in a United States classroom unless the teacher is aware of the accent differences and is able to work them into the reading or lesson.
On the positive side, I love the the illustrations in this book. They are really vibrant and beautiful. The picture details for each of the rhymes are a lot of fun, and I really enjoyed looking at the illustrations. The end pages are also a lot of fun to look at, and show the frog in various positions doing different things, including catching a fly, swimming, and reading the newspaper on the toilet.
The storyline was also cute, and I loved that the frog didn’t want to sit on the log just because it rhymes. The ending is also great, with the frog asking what the dog sits on. I’ll let you figure that out, or read the book yourself.
Final Thoughts: I can appreciate this book a lot more now in the context of it being published in the UK, but I just don’t see it being successful in the US. The little accent difference makes a huge change. Not a book I would have wanted in the Scholastic Book Fair. It makes me wonder if whoever made the decision to include it even read it.
I give Frog on a Log? three stars in the US….
…and four stars in the UK.