Review Blog

Feb 12 2019

Der glumph went the little green frog ill. by Matt Shanks

cover image

Scholastic, 2019. ISBN 9781742993676.
(Age: 4+) Recommended. Themes: Frogs. Humour. Australian animals. A version of the song on which this picture book is based showing the noise made by a frog can be found on Youtube. Scholastic takes it one step further, including an array of Australian animals and the imagined noises they make when unobserved. The echidna makes the sound of scritch scratch, snuggy snug hug go the penguins, the roo, hop hop hop and the little pink bird (galah) goes squwark squwark. Each animal is shown doing what it does enabling readers to recognise the characteristics of that animal as they sing along.
The simple tune is well known and children will easily adapt the new lines to the song, although several may need tweaking, and readers will learn them quickly to sing along with the teacher. Actions will be added, making this a book full of fun and laughter in the classroom. Shanks' illustrations add to the merriment, despite the girl's face being out of alignment (I thought her eye was permanently closed until I realised it was her nose I was looking at.
Readers will love spotting the Australian flora and fauna well depicted by Shanks, and laugh out loud at the humorous touches included in his illustrations: the echidnas being used as bowling balls and the galah appearing on each page, and being wooed on the last page, while the sounds they make in the book invites discussion in the classroom about the noises really made by these animals.
Fran Knight

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