Alex Latimer

Godfrey is a Frog
Alex Latimer

About Author

Award-winning writer and illustrator Alex Latimer introduces Godfrey is a Frog, a hilarious picture book about being content.

Alex is based in Cape Town, South Africa. He has written and illustrated dozens of picture books which have been published all around the world. He has two daughters who read his books to make sure they're fun and interesting, and a dog named Bernie who goes along on walks with him when he can't think of any good ideas. Alex loves dinosaurs, space, and the sea.



Godfrey is a Frog  (OUP Children's Books)

July 2024

ReadingZone spoke with author and illustrator Alex Latimer about his new picture book, Godfrey is a Frog, a funny and warm story which explores how we can make the most of what we have in the present through the eyes of Godfrey, a frog. Having gone through metamorphosis, Godfrey has got used to changing - and he can't wait to find out what he will change into next! 

Find out more from Alex Latimer, ReadingZone's Picture Book Author of the Month!


Q&A with Alex Latimer, introducing Godfrey is a Frog

"Godfrey is a Frog is about an egg who becomes a tadpole who becomes a frog... He wonders
what cool change will happen next."

1.   Hi Alex, thank you for joining us on ReadingZone. Can you tell us a little about yourself, and what is your stand-out moment in your career as a picture book creator?

Thanks for having me on ReadingZone! I started writing picture books about fifteen years ago. My idea was to just write the books and find someone else to illustrate them - but I found that waiting for an illustrator took too long. So I began drawing. I was good at art at school, but I hadn't picked up a pencil for years. It took a while, but I was eventually able to complete my first book - The Boy Who Cried Ninja.

In terms of a highlight of my career - that first book contract is definitely right up there. It's amazing to realise that other people like what you've been doing. I think with all of my books they are books I have fun making. I try to ensure that parents and children enjoy the book equally.

2.   What is your new book, Godfrey is a Frog, about?

Godfrey is a Frog is about an egg who becomes a tadpole who becomes a frog. He's had so many changes in his life that he wonders what cool change will happen next. But nothing happens. Godfrey is sad, but with the help of some friends he begins to realise how awesome being a frog really is.

3.   What inspired this story, about a frog growing to discover his true inner beauty?

I think we tend to look around at other people (especially on social media) and see how much better their lives are. But that's not the truth. We need to take the time to appreciate the good things in our own lives.

4.   What comes first for you, the illustrations or the text? What do you enjoy most in creating your picture books?

Text always comes first. A strong story is key to a good book. But I do love the switch to drawing when the time comes. It feels like I'm using two different parts of my brain - so while one works, the other can take a break.

5.   How do you create your illustrations?

When I started out as an illustrator I only used pencil and paper - with some colour added on computer. But a few years ago I bought a tablet to draw on and I spent a lot of time trying to make sure I could still keep the loose, authentic feel that pencil has. Now I draw everything on my tablet and send it over to my computer to lay out and design.

6.   There are many funny moments in the story, especially in the illustrations - what made you laugh the most?

I love the page where Godfrey is checking himself to see if he's missed any new development. That made me laugh. I love his hopeful desperation.

7.   Why did you decide to include the information about the frog's life cycle at the back of the book?

That was a suggestion from my editor - and a good suggestion too! I love that the story is fun and exciting - but it isn't trying to be educational. The lifecycle at the end just sort of closes that loop so that parents and teachers can discuss nature with their children.

"If we focus on the good things in our lives - we can learn to be happy."

8.   As well as learning about the life cycle of a frog, there's a lovely message in the story about loving whoever you are. Do you have any suggestions for taking this further with children?

I like the idea of making a list of things we can be thankful for. None of us have everything, but if we focus on the good things in our lives - we can learn to be happy.

9.   What kinds of things do you enjoy doing to remind yourself to enjoy life and who you are?

I love spending time in the sea and up mountains. I try my best to remember that I am privileged to be able to get out of the house and go for a hike or a swim.

10.   Where do you create your books, and what are you working on currently?

I have just built a little garden shed/office. It's quite small, but it has enough space for my desk and my things. So that's where I create my books now.

Currently I'm working on a follow-up to Godfrey is a Frog called Frank is a Butterfly. It's going to be bright and beautiful and full of heart.

Author's Titles