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Little Frog ISBN: 9780955199868
Strid, Jakob Martin
Published by Alanna Books, 2009
When a meteor strikes the Frog Family's house, it opens and out hops a small frog. The family (Mum, Dad and two children) is delighted and immediately welcome him. But there is one problem. Little Frog is very naughty - really, really naughty. He draws on Father Frog's face when he's asleep; he cooks the telephone and washes the books, and when he is taken to the school counsellor, he sets the poor man's hair on fire and pees in his bag. The frog parents are beside themselves. Remaining quite cool, Little Frog says, 'Well I've had enough. If you have to yell at me all the time, I'm leaving.' He sets off on a train and then walks across deserts and up mountains, and after an encounter with a very old man who tries (and fails) to cure his naughtiness by recommending 'inner peace' (probably a hit at the counselling industry this) Little Frog realises he has nowhere to go and that he isn't loved. Cue a helicopter full of the Frog Family who want him back in spite of his naughtiness. At the end we are told he remained naughty, but became famous. This truly bizarre picture book, translated from Danish, has a number of interesting points. First of all, Little Frog is never going to be cured; he is as he is and must be loved as he is. There is also the point that unusual people often have unique gifts that become recognised. And then there is Little Frog's strange disembodiment - he doesn't seem to realise what he is doing. Is he autistic? Perhaps that is reading too much into what is a clever and funny story with charming illustrations. Of course, it may just be that Little Frog is from another world where being naughty is standard behaviour!
Age: 5+