Age 3-5+ years
In this striking picturebook we meet a very grumpy frog with so many issues – he only likes green things, absolutely hates pink, won’t go swimming because the water is blue or bouncing because the trampoline is yellow. He does enjoy hopping and racing, just as long as he wins of course. However when he unsurprisingly ends up with no friends, grumpy frog feels pretty sorry for himself. How will he react when a (pink!) rabbit offers to play with him?
A funny story about feeling grumpy, compromising, saying sorry and making friends. A book with lots of appeal and resonance for adults as well as children.
Its creator, Ed Vere speaks about the story and reads aloud from it here
Share the story
Before reading the story
look at the cover and title page. Talk about being grumpy, make grumpy faces together and imagine what might be making this frog feel so grumpy.
Read the story aloud
pausing to talk about the story or the illustrations when your child wants to.
As children become familiar with the story encourage them to join in, for example with the ‘I’m not grumpy’ parts or with the narrator commentary – eg say hello to grumpy frog.
Talk about the story
Share favourite pages
Look again together at the picture of grumpy frog sitting on the log. Talk about grumpy frog, his feelings and how they change,
What would you like to say to grumpy frog?
What would you tell someone else about grumpy frog?
We have shared some of Ed Vere’s books before and we were looking forward to this one. We read it a few times before talking about the story. The story involves a grumpy frog ‘having one of those days’ and there is an awful lot in the book to relate to your own experiences.
Lizzie picked up on the colour aspect strongly, particularly as she has a contrasting view about the colour pink. We had various discussions over the course of many days relating to the colour green - green fruit, green objects, green clothes, green animals and any green we could see when we were out and about. We also had a great green scavenger hunt, with extra points for green things with faces.
When Lizzie came home from school with green hands after some particularly effective play dough with food colouring, I borrowed the play dough for my two to have a really good go. I intended to ask Lizzie to make different faces – happy, sad etc as we had been pulling a lot of grumpy and happy faces together when reading it, but she wanted to make a whole grumpy frog. As we worked together (now all with green hands) we had some good discussions about the last time she was grumpy, what she did to cheer up and what she would do to cheer up the grumpy frog (cuddles and kisses apparently).
This story would definitely be a good way in to discuss moods, and to get children to have a think if they have ever been grumpy ‘just because’…. This is a story we will keep coming back to and use judiciously if grumpiness appears in the future.
Things to make and do
Make stick puppets of grumpy frog, pink rabbit and perhaps some of the other frogs. Use the drawings in the book as a guide.
Act the story
Use the stick puppets you have made or children’s toys and act out the story together.
Make a collection of green things
How many things can you find?
Write a message to Grumpy frog
Talk together about what your child would like to tell Grumpy Frog and write him a message together, children beginning to write could have a go or you could write your child’s ideas for them
Make origami jumping frogs
With older children or to amuse younger children you might like to make origami jumping frogs. If you make several you could have a race – see here
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