• Rebecca Lewis-Oakes

Oi Books, Oi Grammar!

Happy publication day to Kes Gray and Jim Field for the latest in the sensational Oi! series, Oi Aardvark! I love your OI books! Here's why...

Oi Frog! starts us off learning about rhyme. Cats sit on mats. Frogs sit on logs. And with a trademark hilarious twist at the end, what do dogs sit on...?

Then we move to Oi Dog! (That's right, what also rhymes with frog...?) Frog says, 'Well, I'm changing the rules!' And in this bonkers future world, Frog declares that dogs WILL sit on logs , not frogs. We have moved from present to future tense, without even realising! No big deal, guys.

But wait - there's more. In book three, Oi Cat!, Cat no longer wants to sit on gnats. Dog gives helpful suggestions about what Cat could sit on, if Cat were called something else, like 'Kitty'. Here we encounter the future conditional were to/would! Team, it's beginning to look a lot like the subjunctive. So fun!

Quick, quick, we're already on book four, Oi Duck-billed Platypus! where we go wild with alliteration. Frog has to figure out what animals with hard-to-rhyme-with names sit on, so he goes for their first names. Kate the kookaburra, Lemony the lobster - there's a whole gang.

And then, when we thought book one couldn't get any cleverer, in book five, Oi Puppies!, we realise that Oi Frog! stuck to the simple present. Because now we have a change - those lively puppies go from hanging off Cat's whiskers and chewing Frog's swimming trunks to the present continuous, 'Buster is sitting on a duster', 'Jock is sitting on a clock'. Such variety!

Now, I hear Oi Aardvark! goes through an alphabet of animals and I am frankly livid that I didn't preorder it to arrive today. Tomorrow, I venture out to a bookshop, mask on, to bring home more anarchic - yet grammatically self-improving - Oi Mayhem! Thanks Jim and Kes for much hilarity and congratulations on book six in your grammar series.

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