A lively narrative with an improvised feel is somewhat slighted by a cookie-cutter plot. The entire story can be gleaned...

READ REVIEW

THE FROG WHO WANTED TO BE A SINGER

A lively narrative with an improvised feel is somewhat slighted by a cookie-cutter plot. The entire story can be gleaned from the title: Take one animal (here, a frog), give him a hidden talent (boogie-woogie singing), and set him loose on a world of prejudiced characters (club owners, audiences) who won't give him a chance. The frog gets credit for inventing rhythm and blues. Goss (with Clay Goss, It's Kwanzaa Time!, 1995, etc.) has a real way with words and vocal rhythms; the story reads as an allegory of the civil rights movement, with a bouncy style to keep readers involved. Jabar's scratchboard illustrations are replete with color combinations that are jazzy and fun; the frog's determination is spelled out in his facial expressions and postures. Unfortunately, the book is just too formulaic; the frog may be a star, but his story is more a one-hit wonder, to be filed on the shelf after a single reading.

Pub Date: March 1, 1996

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Orchard

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 1996