March 24, 2010

the frog who wouldn’t laugh

IMG_3225We’ve been reading The Frog Who Wouldn’t Laugh by Cecilia Egan and Elizabeth Alger.  This story is an adaptation of a legend of the Australian Aboriginal people.  It tells the story of Tiddalik, the frog who wouldn’t laugh.  One day Tiddalik, feels thirsty and he starts to drink, and he drinks and drinks until he swallows all the fresh water in the world.  The other animals need to make Tiddalik let out all the water or they will die.  They decide to make him laugh.  All the animals try to make Tiddalik laugh but nothing works until the eel starts dancing.
B loves this story, which he first encountered at preschool.  You can hear an audio version of the story at the Amphibian Research Centre.  This website also features the real water-holding frog, Cyclorana platycephala, who absorbs water through its skin until its body becomes a store of water.  This frog was a source of water for Aboriginal Australians in times of drought.
B now likes to play a fun game based on the story.  One person pretends to be Tiddalik and swallow all the water (loud slurping noise required).  Everyone else must then try to make Tiddalik laugh.  Just like the story, they can try funny walks, stories, jokes, tickling (a little bit – I’m going to have to find a big feather like they use in the story) or even dancing.


Julie said...

Hey, I didn't know this was a real book. I saw two presenters (can't remember who now) acting this out on PlaySchool a while ago. I thought they must have made the story up. Sounds like a fun one to act out with kids.

Playing by the book said...

Ooh, I shall have to look out for this version as one of our favourite books is another version of this book - What made Tiddalik laugh by Joanna Troughton. I think you'll have to look for it in a library as I believe it's not in print any more but the illustrations are fantastic.