CHILDREN’S favourite Oi Frog & Friends! is due to hit the stage at Leeds Grand on June 18-20.

The show is based on the bestselling series of picture books by Kes Gray and Jim Field.

The show is based around the rhyme “cats sit on mats, hares sit on chairs, mules sit on stools, gophers sit on sofas and frogs sit on logs”.

It’s a new day at Sittingbottom School and Frog is looking for a place to sit, but Cat has other ideas and Dog is doing as he’s told. Little do any of them know that chaos is coming.

Who knew there were so many rhyming rules, and what will happen when Frog is in charge?

An action-packed stage adaptation is promised with songs, puppets, laughs and more rhymes than you can shake a chime out.

Kes Gray and Jim Field, the creators of the characters, spoke to Matthew Amer about the stage adaptation of their picture books.

“It’s something David Attenborough never told us about, which is a disgrace,” laughs author Kes Gray, discussing the massively successful Oi Frog! series of picture book he creates with illustrator Jim Field.

“If you rhyme with something, you sit on it; those are the rules that prop up the animal kingdom!”

The Oi Frog! picture books – which also include Oi Cat!, Oi Dog!, Oi Duck-billed Platypus! and the recently released Oi Puppies! – are a global rhyming phenomenon.

They began with, as Gray puts it, the “cliché that underpins so many childhoods” that frogs sit on logs and cats sit on mats.

From there, Gray and Field tried to explain to the world where are the rest of the animal kingdom sat on this realm of rhyming recliners.

It’s a picture that Gray is still coming to terms with.

“I keep trying to think of it as if it’s a massive stadium full of people holding a copy of the book, then doing that ten times over.”

What’s more, Frog, Dog, Cat and their chair-shunning chums come to life on stage in a new stage show produced by Kenny Wax Family Entertainment, the company behind theatrical translations of The Worst Witch, Hetty Feather, What the Ladybird Heard and more, and adapted by the creative team, director Emma Earle and designer Zoe Squire (of Pins and Needles Productions), composer Luke Bateman and lyricist Richy Hughes.

“We didn’t see it coming,” admits Kes. “When we were asked ‘Can we put it on stage?’ I thought, ‘I don’t know, can you?’ We certainly don’t know because we don’t create theatre, we create books.”

“It’s amazing to see what’s happened,” adds Field. “If you adapted indirectly from the books, the show would only be about 15 minutes long, so they’ve created a backstory around the characters.

There’s a whole life for Cat that we never knew about. It really has given it a new life and greater depth. And all the songs they’ve come up with as well!”

The stage adaptation, Oi Frog & Friends! Look at mixes drama, puppetry, jokes, rhymes and songs as it draws from the first four books to tell its story of a day at Sittingbottom School, where chaos reigns when Frog decides he might not want to perch his bottom on a log.

The quietly spoken Gray and Field are very calm and laid-back as we discuss this new project. “We know the medium of the books,” Field explains, but theatre is a different medium, so we have to let someone else run it where they have expertise. We let the people who know what they’re doing bring it to life.”

There may be some truth in that, but it doesn’t take long to discover that both Oi! creators would describe themselves as control freaks and have definitely been keeping more than one eye on proceedings with the new show.

Visit to book tickets for Oi Frog & Friends!.