FROG TROUBLE—BY SANDRA BOYNTON
Workman Publishing 9780761171768.
Hardback, 65 pp., includes 12-song CD, $16.95.
(Workman Publishing, 225 Varick St., New York, NY 10014, www.workman.com.)
As the mother of a two-year-old I was very familiar with Sandra Boynton before this CD and book landed on my desk to review. She writes and illustrates kids’ books (Barnyard Dance, Moo, Baa, La, La, La!) and has put out four previous kids’ CDs. Boynton writes the music and lyrics and then finds the perfect artist to perform each one. This album doesn’t contain any bluegrass per se—it’s mostly country—but it does have lots of very catchy and joyful songs. Some are funny, some are beautiful, and you won’t mind if they get stuck in your head.
The reason Bluegrass Unlimited is reviewing it is that it features some bluegrass personnel, including Alison Krauss, who sings the wistful “End Of A Summer Storm.” More familiar names appear in the musician credits: Ron Block, Viktor Krauss, Luke Bulla, and the ubiquitous Stuart Duncan. Brad Paisley, Dwight Yoakam, Darius Rucker, Kasey Musgraves, and others are the big names who sing lead on the rest of the songs.
There are songs about frogs, dogs, trucks, pigs, alligators, the hardship of being a kid, as well as a few serious ones. The accompanying book contains Boynton’s signature drawings to embody every tune, as well as a section with the written music, chords, and complete lyrics. The book won’t be as interesting to young kids because there is a lot of text, but they’ll love the music. The cover claims this is “For ages one to older than dirt,” and as long as you are young at heart, you’ll enjoy these songs. This set would make a fun present for children, grandkids, or expectant parents.CAH