THE FROG WHO WANTED TO BE A SINGER by Linda Goss

THE FROG WHO WANTED TO BE A SINGER

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KIRKUS REVIEW

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 1st, 1996
Page count: 36pp
Publisher: Orchard