Oi Dog! and Oi Frog! by Kes Gray and Jim Field (Hodder, £6.99 each)

The “Oi” series of picture books has become a firm Little Apple favourite. They are full of vivid colour from Jim Field, and fantastic madcap stories from Kes Gray.

The series begins with Oi Frog! in which the bossy cat explains to the frog that he should of course sit on a log, but the frog complains of splinters in his bottom and requests alternative seating arrangements. All these are rejected by the cat as of course a hare should sit on a chair, a fox on a box and so forth.

Then, in Oi Dog!, the frog rewrites the rules, after being sat on by the dog and in Oi Cat! (still in hardback), the cat wants to stop sitting on gnats as they keep biting his bottom.

As you can probably tell, all the books are delightfully silly, with great repetition and rhyming to help encourage participation from the reader. There are lots of fun animals, many of which hardly ever get a mention elsewhere, like the gnus who sit in canoes or the gophers who sit on sofas.

The way the text is laid out makes these good books for early readers, as the many rhyming words are easy to pick out, while the pictures make you laugh out loud. The lion on an iron looks particularly uncomfortable.

Everything frantically builds in each story, right up to the final twist.

Small children spend a lot of time having to obey arbitrary rules. Frog is their new hero, and makes us adults realise that maybe questioning rules is no bad thing.

Review by by Philippa Morris, Little Apple bookshop