Life According to Og the Frog
by Betty G. Birney (2018)
The first spinoff to Betty Birney (and Read to Them‘s) wildly popular Humphrey series.
Here, we’ll let Humphrey tell you about it…
“Hey, there. So nice to see you all! All I can say is SQUEAK-SQUEAK-SQUEAK. It just makes me so happy to see so many of you OSOB readers!
“You all know me as Humphrey, the hamster from Mrs. Brisbane’s Room 26. I don’t know you – but you remind me of all of my friends at Longfellow School.
“I’m here to tell you about my strange green friend, Og. The Frog. Maybe you remember him from some of my other books, like Friendship According to Humphrey. But if not, there are a few things you should know….
“There was I was, doing my job as the Classroom Pet – when all of a sudden Og showed up. I was to learn later he came from another classroom – but when he showed up it was a big surprise. Do you think Room 26 was big enough for the two of us?
“Og and I are very, very different. I am a hamster. A rodent. A mammal. And warm blooded. I don’t like it too hot or too cold. I like to exercise and to nap – and to write! And I like to leave my cage once in a while. I’m a lovely golden hamster.
“Og is none of these things. He’s a frog. He’s green. He’s an amphibian. He lives in a little water park. He’s cold-blooded. Fortunately the temperature doesn’t change too much in Room 26 – but if it does…well…I’ll let him tell you about that.
“The biggest thing you should know is that Og and I have communication problems. I am very talkative. I squeak enthusiastically – as you know. And I run on my wheel. I have a lot to do to take care of the students in Room 26.
“But Og… Well. All he does is go Boing! Seriously. He doesn’t talk or sing or make the noises I assumed frogs made. He just goes Boing! He will sometimes jump around or splash or even hide – and I think he’s trying to tell me something. But I can’t really tell what it is. I mean seriously – How do you translate Boing!?
“The problem is – he can’t understand me either. There I am squeaking away – and you can understand me! But I can’t tell whether he gets me or not. I can’t even tell when he’s acknowledged what I have to say – or if he’s mystified. He just goes Boing! and splashes or hops away.
“But I will tell you this. Somehow I can tell that Og cares as much about the kids in Room 26 as I do. When something is not going right, when students have a problem and Mrs. Brisbane can’t figure it out – he gets upset and agitated just like me. We both have different ways of expressing it. But whether I’m squeaking or he’s boing-ing – we both always want to find a way to help set things right in Room 26.
“Og also loves the other people who show up in Room 26 – like Aldo, the awesome custodian. And Mr. Morales, the principal. But I’ll let him tell you about that. I understand he has a story to tell – just like I have – and perhaps it’s his turn to tell it.
“You can find out about life inside Room 26 from inside Og’s terrarium. I don’t know how you’re going to understand him though. BOING!-BOING!-BOING! If you figure out what that means – let me know!
“In the meantime – see ya! I got to run on my wheel. It’s been nice talking to you all.”