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Santa Maria Sun / School Scene

The following article was posted on September 18th, 2013, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 14, Issue 28 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 14, Issue 28

What Kids are Reading: Frog Trouble ... and Eleven Other Pretty Serious Songs

By Sandra Boynton - recommended for ages 1 through older than dirt

REVIEW BY ARIEL WATERMAN


“There’s only one thing gets a Cowboy down. It’s the kind of trouble that we’ve got in this town—Frog Trouble.”

The moment I saw the cover of this book, showing three burly, green frogs, one sporting a 10-gallon hat, I knew Frog Trouble was going to be a fun read.

Author, cartoonist, and songwriter Sandra Boynton fills the book with plenty of cowboy silliness to give young readers and grown-ups lots of chuckles. Her colorful images are a hoot and a holler. She was inspired to create this book and companion CD by the television shows of her childhood, especially their title songs.

As a songwriter, Boynton has produced three gold albums and has a Grammy nomination. Her companion CD to Frog Trouble is filled with original songs she penned. And boy-howdy, does she have an A-list of country singers who perform them!

Brad Paisley sings the “Copycat” song and rocker Mark Lanegan, formerly of Queens of the Stone Age, sings the moody title song. Dwight Yoakam croons the funny tune “I’ve Got a Dog.”

The section titled “Look While You Listen” is filled with the lyrics to each song to read as you sing along. My favorite tune is “The Alligator Stroll,” sung by Josh Turner, with instructions and illustrations on how to do the moves. There are also chapters on “Good Names for Dogs, Horses, ‘Gators & Frogs,” “How to Talk Like a Cowboy,” and “How to Make a Folded-Paper Frog Puppet.”

Boynton’s book and CD make for fun listening and participation, especially on cold or rainy autumn days when outside play is not an option. There’s also a bedtime song called “End of a Summer Storm,” a beautiful lullaby sung by Alison Krauss.

Boynton states on the book’s cover that it is “for ages one to older than dirt,” and she’s not kidding. Adults will enjoy reading and listening to the catchy country songs as much as youngsters. Frog Trouble makes a terrific gift, but best buy two copies because it’s a real keeper! Yee-haw!