Frog Trouble: And Eleven Other Pretty Serious Songs

w/CD. illus. by author. 65p. diag. photos. reprods. Workman. 2013. RTE $16.95. ISBN 9780761171768. LC 2013025406.
PreS-Gr 5—With a diverse cast of Country Western talent, this collaboration displays the considerable humor and artistry of the children's author, illustrator, and songwriter. Each of the 12 songs is introduced with a full-page illustration and text in Part 1, "Look While You Listen," and is found again with complete musical notation, chords, and lyrics in Part 2, "Sing and Play Along." Fonts change with a page turn. Readers will learn how to "Talk Like a Cowboy" and find a helpful list to choose the right name for dogs, horses, 'gators, and frogs. Kid-friendly, fantastic art fills the pages-pigs drive trucks and fly, frogs (with and without their cowboy hats) peek from their hiding places, critters play their instruments, and a barnyard quintet sings along. "Meet the Performers," Part 3, briefly introduces each artist for the CD with photos, recording credits, and "thank-y'alls." The (more than 33 minutes) CD includes a diversity of tempo and instrumental accompaniment: folk instruments, sound effects, virtuoso guitar, fiddle, or harmonica riffs, orchestral strings, country blues, honky-tonk piano, slow rock-and-roll. In short, everything from a rockin' line dance to a poignant tribute at the end of a summer storm is included. If the CD and eye-catching illustrations are not enough, final pages of the book include instructions and a paper design to cut out and fold into a frog puppet. Humorously entertaining for "age 1 to older than dirt," this is a must-buy for young readers and Country Western fans in all libraries.—Mary Elam, Learning Media Services, Plano ISD, TX

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