Life According to Og the Frog

Betty G. Birney. Putnam, $16.99 (160p) ISBN 978-1-5247-3994-2
This sparkling offshoot of Birney’s Humphrey the hamster series reveals the Room 26 goings-on from the perspective of amphibian Og, a second classroom pet. The narrative leaps back in time to offer Og’s take on his arrival (a story Humphrey relays in Friendship According to Humphrey), and fans will find the affable frog a chirpy and perceptive raconteur. Og’s daydreams transport him back to his former life in the swamp, and his interior monologue is laced with nature-themed wordplay (a cricket “tastes frogalicious, and I am very hoppy”) and analogies (sensing the teacher likes him makes Og “feel as cozy as a lizard snoozing in a sunbeam”). With candor and humor, the frog spills his (unwarranted) insecurity about being a good class pet to the students, his envy of popular Humphrey’s mastery of the job, and his angst as the kids debate whether Og should live at a wildlife sanctuary. Laced with environmental facts, this is a heartening tale of cross-species friendship, change, and belonging. Ages 8–12. Agent: Nancy Gallt, Gallt and Zacker Literary Agency. (July)
Reviewed on: 05/28/2018
Release date: 07/03/2018
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