Oi duck-billed platypus! by Kes Gray

cover image

Ill. by Jim Field. Hodder Children's Books, 2018. ISBN 9781444937329
(Age: 4+) Highly recommended. Themes: Animals, Verse, Word play, Alliteration, Humour. Following on from the success of the zany fun filled humour of the "Oi" books (Oi Frog (2015) Oi Dog (2016), and Oi Cat (2016)) this one follows a slightly different variation as the frog finds it difficult to find a rhyme for some of the animals that appear before him, waiting to be seated. What do you rhyme with a duck billed platypus or a hippopotamus, an ostrich or a meerkat. Frog, cat and dog are puzzled and platypus is not very patient, reminding the trio that he is waiting, as he points out the queue behind him of other animals also waiting for their rhyme before being seated.
Eventually the Frog asks for their first names and they find it much easier to use their first names rather than their second to find a rhyme that fits. So Dolly the duck-billed platypus sits on a brolly, Kate kookaburra sits on a gate and Lemony lobster sits on an anemone. Everyone is satisfied, the alliterative names of the animals used to make a nice rhyming seat until a kangaroo happens to come along, with the fearful name, Amelia Esmerelda Honeydew HigginbottomPinkleponk-Johnson. The resolution will have children trying vainly to find a rhyme and like frog, telling the kangaroo to sit where she likes.
Full of humour, reflected in the appealing illustrations, the tale will bring laughter from all readers, recognising the alliteration and how it teams with the animal's name, seeing the rhyme that frog comes up with, perhaps offering an alternative, all the while looking closely at the expressions on the faces to see what a quandary frog is in. In a class emphasis could be the word play, rhyme and alliteration, while discussion with younger readers about first and last names would be appropriate.
All readers will love looking out for the seat of each of the animals and delight in the end papers with Field's platypus panorama.
Fran Knight