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Book Review

This book has been reviewed by Focus on the Family Thriving Family, a marriage and parenting magazine. It is the second book in the "According to Humphrey" series.

Positive Elements

Spiritual Content

Sexual Content

Violent Content

Crude or Profane Language

Drug and Alcohol Content

Other Negative Elements


Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

Mrs. Brisbane's class has grown with the addition of new student Tabitha. She is quiet and carries a worn teddy bear. Og the Frog becomes a new classroom pet.

Humphrey is wary of his new roommate but makes an attempt to be a friend to the frog. Hamster and frog struggle to communicate, and Humphrey is a little frightened by Og's appearance.

In preparation for the Valentine's Day party, the class learns some poetry. They also learn about frogs, due to Og's arrival in the classroom. Humphrey becomes jealous.

Garth takes Humphrey home for the weekend. His best friend, A. J., seems nervous about the bus ride home. Humphrey soon discovers that this is because of bully Marty Bean, who lately has been harassing other kids on the bus.

Garth asks his mom to talk to Bean's mom about his bullying, and she encourages him instead to deal with the situation on his own. On Monday morning, Bean is his normal bullying self. Humphrey escapes his cage to jump on Bean's pant leg to help defend his friends. Bean panics and shouts, angering the bus driver. She forces him to sit behind her permanently.

In class, the children share their poems. Most of them are about frogs, which makes Humphrey more jealous. Tabitha's is about her bear.

Sayeh's attempts to make friends with Tabitha are no more successful than Humphrey's attempts to talk to Og.

Humphrey goes with Miranda to a different home than the last time she took care of him for a weekend. Now she is with her dad and stepsiblings. She shares a room with Abby, who is very protective of her things. When the family goes out, Humphrey puts a few of Abby's things on Miranda's pillow and vice versa.

When the girls return, they are initially angry at each other. But then they become detectives and decide a ghost must have moved their things. That night they wait for the ghost, telling scary stories to stay awake. The next morning they get along really well and are actually looking forward to Miranda's next visit.

The class spends indoor recess playing a trivia game, and Tabitha wins because of her knowledge of sports. Seth talks to Tabitha about sports and beloved childhood toys. When Mrs. Brisbane assigns study guides for the students to complete over the weekend, Humphrey slips Seth's into Tabitha's bag, giving them a reason to meet over break. Tabitha and Seth become friends.

At a classmate's birthday party, Bean realizes he doesn't have any friends. Tabitha arrives at the party without her bear, as Seth suggested.

Humphrey tries again to make friends with Og, but loses his temper when Og splashes him. His feelings stew over the following snow day. The next day is Saturday. Humphrey escapes to find food and becomes trapped beneath his food bag. Og escapes his own cage to rescue Humphrey.

Later, Mrs. Brisbane and several students trudge through the snow to take care of their pets. This proves to Humphrey that everyone still cares about him, as well as Og. He no longer feels that the frog has replaced him in their affection.

Martin Bean writes an apology to all the students as his Valentine's Day gift. Humphrey writes a poem for Og and leaves it on the floor near Mrs. Brisbane's desk. When she reads it at the Valentine's Day celebration, Humphrey and Og finally have their first communication as friends.

Christian Beliefs


Other Belief Systems

Abby and Miranda believe a ghost has moved their things around their room.

Authority Roles

Mrs. Brisbane is the classroom's main teacher. Aldo the janitor teaches one class, and the children are very respectful. Natalie, Garth's baby sitter, helps the kids understand that their parents will be upset if they return and the kids are not in bed. Garth's mom encourages him to approach Martin Bean and solve the problem between the two of them rather than relying on parents to deal with it. Aldo encourages Martin Bean to be friendly to the other students.





Discussion Topics

Get free discussion questions for this book and others, at FocusOnTheFamily.com/discuss-books.

Additional Comments/Notes

You can request a review of a title you can't find at reviewrequests@family.org.

Book reviews cover the content, themes and worldviews of fiction books, not their literary merit, and equip parents to decide whether a book is appropriate for their children. The inclusion of a book's review does not constitute an endorsement by Focus on the Family.

Episode Reviews



Readability Age Range

7 to 9


Betty G. Birney






Record Label



Puffin Books, a division of Penguin books


On Video

Year Published





We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

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