The Diddle That Dummed

The Diddle That Dummed

By Author / Illustrator

Kes Gray, Fred Blunt


Picture Books

Age range(s)



Hachette Children's Group




Paperback / softback




A laugh-out-loud musical story full of hilarious word play and silliness from the author of Oi Frog!, brilliantly illustrated by Fred Blunt.  Flinty Bo Diddle is writing a tune for his fiddle. All his diddles have lined up nicely - except for one who keeps going DUM, right in the middle! No matter what he tries he just can't get this diddle to diddle like it's supposed to!  A story about standing out from the crowd that will have you in fits of giggles!

Kes Gray is the author of the top ten bestselling series Oi Frog and Friends, which has sold 1.4 million copies to date.



The Diddle that Dummed is another great picture book by children's author Kes Gray and has the same style and repetitive pattern as his 'Oi Frog' series. It's this pattern that helps young children re-tell the story, which in turn supports their understanding of the story format.

The Diddle that Dummed is a funny story about a man called Flinty Bo Diddle, a composer who wants to write a tune for his fiddle; however, one of his notes just won't behave! As poor Mr Diddle gets more and more frustrated, it really is hard not to giggle. Flinty tries changing the tune and the naughty note still won't behave. Eventually, Flinty gives up writing a tune for his fiddle and tries the drum instead, surely a note that 'dums' instead of 'diddles' will behave for a tune played on the drum?

As an adult sharing this book with a young audience, you will need a good level of literary patience and expression; there are an awful lot of 'diddles' in this book! That said, I am sure that you will be suitably rewarded by an equal number of 'giggles'.

While illustrating musical notes doesn't leave much scope for creativity, Fred Blunt has most certainly brought Mr Diddle to life with his amusing illustrations. Flinty's unruly red hair most definitely infers a fiery temperament and this is exactly what we see when the naughty note refuses to play. Ideal for young readers to better appreciate the composer's frustration when the dum refuses to diddle.

A great book to share with a young audience, both in school or at home.

Picture book / Ages 3+ / Reviewed by Samantha Phillips, teacher

Suggested Reading Age 3+


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