Friday, October 5, 2018

Life according to Og the Frog by Betty Birney

The author of "The world according to Humphrey" series branches out to include the story of a new class pet. Og the Frog. Og was caught in a pond and brought to school; at first he lived with a mean bullfrog, but now he's been moved to Room 26 where he has a weird, furry neighbor named Humphrey.

Og enjoys life in the new classroom at first; he's got plenty of time to make up songs and poems, Humphrey seems nice (even if he can't understand the weird little guy) and after a trip home with the teacher they figure out his favorite food - crickets! But then the class starts arguing about sending him back to the pond; does Og belong in the classroom or in the wild?

I personally find the stories of Humphrey and the classroom kind of, well, boring. Nothing much really happens and the kids all feel like stereotypes (the one who complains, the one who asks questions, etc.). The teacher also feels very... scripted. Also, as Ms. Yingling points out, it's weird that Og understands English but not Humphrey. But! Kids really like these. They're not as popular as, say, Captain Underpants, but they circulate steadily and are good filler for lower-level chapter books, one step up from beginning chapters.

Verdict: Fans of the series will happily read the adventures of a new class pet; Purchase where Humphrey is popular.

ISBN: 9781524739942; Published July 2018 by Putnam/Penguin; Review copy provided by publisher; Donated to the library

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