STARRED REVIEW
June 23, 2017

Seats assigned by rhyme

By Claire Gray & Kes Gray, illustrated by Jim Field

In Kes Gray and Jim Field’s earlier collaboration, Frog on a Log?, a frog who’s tired of sitting on logs is provoked by a somewhat doctrinaire cat who insists, beyond all logic, that animals must sit on particular rhyming surfaces.

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In Kes Gray and Jim Field’s earlier collaboration, Frog on a Log?, a frog who’s tired of sitting on logs is provoked by a somewhat doctrinaire cat who insists, beyond all logic, that animals must sit on particular rhyming surfaces. With some trepidation, the frog finally asks, “But what do dogs sit on?” and the cat responds, “I was hoping you weren’t going to ask that.”

That book closes where Dog on a Frog? picks up, as the hapless frog desperately tries to find somewhere else for the dog to sit. He decides to turn the cat’s rules upside down, suggesting it’s the dog’s turn to sit on a log. As for cats? They now sit on gnats, not mats. And things only get sillier from there, as leopards sit on shepherds and cheetahs sit on . . . fajitas. I won’t give away the surprise ending, but let’s just say the frog is in a more comfortable place this time!

Kes and Claire Gray’s whimsical rhymes are perfectly illustrated by Jim Field’s colorful and droll illustrations, which capture an astonishingly wide range of animals’ facial expressions—from delight to dismay—arising from their assigned sitting arrangements. There’s a short window in children’s language development before they really understand puns, when rhyming pairs of words seem both magical and hilarious. And the interplay between the disgruntled cat and the gleefully vindictive frog will leave grownups chuckling, too. If you know a child who loves rhymes or language play, don’t hesitate to pick up this laugh-out-loud read-aloud.

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Dog on a Frog?

Dog on a Frog?

By Claire Gray & Kes Gray, illustrated by Jim Field
Scholastic
ISBN 9781338116953

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