Saturday, 6 August 2016


The Frog in the Skyscraper
Faiz Kermani
Publisher: Matador
Pages: 53
ISBN: 978-1-78589-062-8

Life at the pond can get pretty boring - even if you're living in the heart of New York. So when Frijibold the Frog hears about the exclusive apartments in trendy Shark Fin Towers, he jumps at the chance to fulfil his secret lifelong dream: living in a skyscraper among those fascinating creatures called humans. But no sooner has Frijibold stepped into his luxurious apartment than he finds himself trapped in an action-packed adventure involving an ambitious property developer, crazy TV hosts, and Mrs. Boggel's spicy fried fly pizza. Humans can be more tricky than they look...The Frog in the Skyscraper is the hilarious tale of one sharp-witted frog's journey to find out where he really belongs - despite a few bumps along the way. It will appeal to children aged 7-9, and fans of Faiz's former books.

If life as a frog couldn't get any better, eating Mrs. Boggels spicy fried fly pizza and spending time with his friends at the pond croaking all night on a lily pond sounds like loads of fun - but not for Frijibold. He is a frog who wants more out of life than the pond. As far as he is concerned, it's boring and repetitive, so when he hears about two humans trying to get an apartment at the new skyscraper, Shark Fin Towers, he thinks he should go check it out.

Frijibold is seen as a disruptive influence by other frogs at the pond. As he is bored with his life there, he shuns their friendship instead spending time at an old well listening to humans talk about their lives and wishes. These humans toss coins in there to make wishes for a better life, and Frjibold understands why they would do this as he has a yearning for a better life too. Frijibold asks Shark Fin Towers owner, Sean Shark if he can buy an apartment there, and Sean sees Frijibold as a business opportunity that will be sure to work.

Although by appearance, Sean seems a great business partner, Frijibold is naïve, he thinks he is looking after his interests, but Shark by name means shark by nature as he uses Frijibold to encourage people to buy expensive apartments at the towers. Frijibold ends up being involved in lots of publicity, doing interviews, photo opportunities for magazines and having his image used on advertising for the towers. This all makes him excited, but at the same time he is endlessly tired even though he is living in a top floor apartment. All the time his friends are wondering where he is and are concerned he hasn't come back to visit them.

Faiz sets the scene for this story where Frijibold has grown tired of pond life, but forgets that his friends and the life he had was just as rich, if not better than the one he chose in the skyscraper. He has to realise he could only be chasing a dream life that might not pan out as he expected. Faiz Kermani is the author of eight books designed for children who are interested in reading about fun, fresh characters from his original mind. This and The Frog who Loved Mathematics are the only frog themed ones, but I'm sure he will write more soon. The Frog in the Skyscraper has a moral to it that kids will get and parents will understand only too well. I liked the humour in it, Frijibold's innocent mistakes yet his instant appeal and the beautiful illustrations from Korey Scott throughout.

Other books by Faiz:

My Alien Penfriend
Bob's Mythological Garden
Tales of Deserts and Demons
Golbo the Spider's Amazing Vacuum Cleaner Adventure
Curiosity the Giant
A First Guide to Space Creatures
The Frog who Loved Mathematics