Sir Derek Jacobi reads Frog in Winter, by Max Velthuijs. Frog wakes up to see that the world has turned completely white.
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CBeebies Bedtime Story.
Hello. My name is Derek.
I'm warming myself in front of the fire.
Are you all snuggled up, nice and warm?
I know a story about a frog who doesn't like the winter cold.
Would you like to hear it?
It's called Frog In Winter, and it's by Max Velthuis.
When Frog got up one morning,
he realised at once that something was wrong with the world.
Something had changed.
He went to the window
and was astonished to see that everything was completely white.
He rushed outside in confusion.
There was snow everywhere.
It was slippery under his feet.
Suddenly he felt himself falling over, backwards,
down the bank into the river.
But the river was frozen, and Frog lay on his back on the cold,
"If there's no water, I won't be able to wash," he thought.
Shocked, shivering with cold, he sat on the bank.
Then Duck came hurrying towards him on her skates.
"Hello, Frog," she said.
"Nice weather today. Are you coming skating?"
"N-no, I'm freezing," replied Frog.
"But skating is good for you," said Duck.
"I'll teach you."
So, Duck gave Frog her skates and her scarf.
She pushed him, and he slid quickly across the ice.
But not for long. Soon he fell.
"Aren't you enjoying yourself?" said Duck.
But Frog was nearly frozen solid,
and his teeth were chattering with cold.
"Y-y-you've got a warm, feathery coat,
"but I'm just a bare frog," he said.
"You're right," said Duck.
"You better keep my scarf, as I must be on my way."
Then Pig appeared with a basket of firewood on her back.
A-a-aren't you freezing, Pig?" asked Frog.
"Freezing?!" said Pig.
"No, I'm enjoying the fresh, healthy air.
"Winter is the most beautiful season."
"Y-y-you have a nice layer of fat to keep you warm,
"but what do I have?" said Frog.
"Poor Frog," thought Pig.
"I wish I could help him."
"One, two, one, two!" Hare ran up.
He was jogging in the snow.
"Hurrah!" he called, joyously.
"Sport makes you healthy. Hurrah for sport!
"Three cheers for sport.
"Why don't you join in, Frog? It's great fun, keeping fit."
"I-I'm freezing," said Frog.
"You've got warm fur, but I have nothing."
Sadly, he went home.
The next day, his friends invited him to have a snowball fight.
But Frog...couldn't share in the fun.
"I-I'm free-zing!" he murmured.
"I'm only a bare frog."
And, miserably, he stumbled home.
He sat next to the fire for the rest of the day,
dreaming of spring and summer.
He burnt every last piece of wood.
When the fire went out, he went outside to gather more logs,
but he couldn't find any wood in the snow.
He walked and walked until he lost his way.
Everything was white.
Exhausted, he lay down in the snow.
A bare frog.
And there his friends found him.
"Come on," said Hare.
And carefully they carried him home and put him to bed.
Hare collected wood and lit a fire.
Pig cooked a hot, nourishing soup. And Duck cheered Frog up.
In the evenings that followed, everyone listened
while Hare read wonderful stories about spring and summer.
Pig knitted Frog a warm pullover in two colours.
Frog enjoyed the attention from his friends.
Winter is wonderful when you can spend it in bed.
Then the day came when Frog was well enough to get up.
Without fur, fat or feathers,
but dressed in his new pullover,
he took his first steps in the snow.
"Well?" asked Hare, curiously.
answered Frog, bravely.
So, the long winter passed.
But one morning, when Frog
opened his eyes, he noticed at once something was different.
Bright light streamed in the window.
Quickly, he jumped out of bed and ran outside.
The world was bright green,
and the sun shone in the sky.
"Hurray!" he cried.
"It's good to be a frog! How wonderful.
"I can feel the sun's rays on my bare back."
His friends were happy to see Frog so cheerful.
"What would we do without Frog?" laughed Hare.
"I can't think," said Pig.
"No," agreed Duck.
"Life just wouldn't be the same without him."
That story was called Frog In Winter.
Isn't Frog lucky to have such caring friends,
who looked after him through the long, cold winter?
Now it's time for you to get snuggled up,
cosy and warm in your bed.
I'll see you again...soon,
for another bedtime story. Sleep tight.
Sir Derek Jacobi reads Frog in Winter, written and illustrated by Max Velthuijs. One morning Frog discovers there is something wrong with the world and everything is completely white. Frog doesn't have a coat to keep him warm like Duck or Hare - he is totally bare. Fortunately he has some very good friends who help him through the winter months.