Despite his dreams of becoming a singer, Frog is frustrated because, in the forest in which he lives, only birds are allowed to sing, but somehow, through perseverance, his dreams become a reality, an a story complete with notes about the history of rhythm and blues music.
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A frustrated amphibian with a dream propels this picture book about the power of self-confidence. More than anything, Frog longs to belt out his soulful songs before an audience. However, the birds are the only beasts in the forest to land a singing gig, and-along with most of the other animals-they laugh at Frog's aspirations. ("Fool, you crazy?... Frogs don't sing in this place"). But buoyed by his parents' support and his need to express his talent, Frog books himself at the Big Time Weekly Concert, where, after an embarrassing bout of stage fright, he lets loose with a boogie-woogie solo. A huge hit, he inspires a number of dance crazes among his fans. Goss's (coauthor of Talk That Talk) chatty, laid-back, blues-infused storytelling ("Have you ever been frustrated? That's right, I said frustrated. Tell the truth now") immediately wins the attention of readers, and her sympathetic tone leads children through the somewhat lengthy text at a good pace. Jabar's (No Hickory, No Dickory, No Dock) vibrantly colored scratchboard characters on black backgrounds take center stage. Such spirited yet sweet scenes as Frog crooning with eyes closed and a huge grin on his face, or parting his "hair," and elephants gleefully doing the bump are particularly memorable. An author's note discusses the African roots of blues music and its offshoots in American popular music. Ages 4-8.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Ages 5^-8. In a world where only birds croon, a young frog wants to do the unspeakable--sing. Mocked by his fellow frogs and scorned by the birds, he feels "mighty bad, mighty sad, mighty mad, and mighty frustrated," but he doesn't give up. Brother Fox gives him his first break on the Big Time Weekly Concert, which begins in disaster and ends in triumph. Frog introduces "what we now call Boogie-woogie" with his "dooba dooba doos," and "that is how Rhythm and Blues was born." Appended "backstage notes" add a few bits of boogie-woogie history. Goss, an award-winning storyteller, has honed her story well, effectively repeating phrases, and so skillfully shifting the tempo that readers will be snapping their fingers. Told in a distinctly African American syntax and diction, not dialect, this begs to be read aloud. Jabar's vigorous scratchboard illustrations are a perfect fit, portraying a dynamic forest nightlife in vibrant colors. The emphasis on Frog's self-determination, clearly but not intrusively instructive, adds a moral dimension, and music notation on the endpapers offers an added dimension. Of all the book's virtues, however, the best is its charm. Linda Perkins
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Descrizione libro Orchard Books (NY), 1996. Library Binding. Condizione libro: New. Never used!. Codice libro della libreria P11053108745X