I'm in Love with a Big Blue Frog

( 1 )

Overview

Witty, wonderful, and slyly fun, the song "I?m in Love with a Big Blue Frog" was a huge hit for Peter, Paul and Mary in 1967, and has been a favorite in classrooms, camps, and at sing-alongs ever since. Not only do children delight in the playful tune, but adults also embrace its lyrics, which gently send a message of tolerance in the most light-hearted, humorous way.

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Overview

Witty, wonderful, and slyly fun, the song "I’m in Love with a Big Blue Frog" was a huge hit for Peter, Paul and Mary in 1967, and has been a favorite in classrooms, camps, and at sing-alongs ever since. Not only do children delight in the playful tune, but adults also embrace its lyrics, which gently send a message of tolerance in the most light-hearted, humorous way.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Brunet (When Pigs Fly) provides brassy, bold visuals for this bumpy adaptation of Braunstein’s 1967 folk song, famously performed by Peter, Paul, and Mary; the trio’s original recording and two additional songs are featured on an accompanying CD. An endnote explains that the song is a metaphor for the struggle against discrimination and segregation in the civil rights era, and the book stars a loving but vilified couple, a redheaded young woman and a tall beret-wearing frog (imagine a dapper blue cousin to Kermit). Throughout, folks keep to their own kind—whether human, zebra, or sheep—exhibiting a “different is bad” mentality. In the opening scene, the couple shares a float in a soda shop while customers (both human and animal) look on disapprovingly; when they move into a new house, beaver neighbors glare at them over a picket fence (“They think value on their property will go right down/ If the family next door is blue”). The tacked-on happy ending is perplexing: the prejudice of the preceding pages vanishes when the couple hands out frog-themed treats from an ice cream truck. Ages 4–up. (Feb.)
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
The simple nonsense of being in love with a big blue frog, and being loved in return, was first celebrated by the musical trio Peter, Paul and Mary in 1967. The obviously female human narrator of the text is not worried about their differences, although there are many. To begin, he is six foot three in height, with a Ph.D. His mother was a Philadelphia frog; his daddy an enchanted prince. She does not care about these details. But the outside world is concerned, so the persistence of her love adds a message of tolerance to the simple song. Long, horizontal pages offer space for the visual tale of the unusual happy couple. Other scenes add a variety of anthropomorphic animals in suburban settings. A white bird adds spirit to some scenes. A smoothness about the naturalistic illustrations suggests cells from an animated cartoon. In addition to the bouncy presentation of the original song on the included CD, Yarrow offers his interpretation of the classic "Froggie Went a -Courtin'." Noel Paul Stookey adds his jolly lesson, reminding us that "we must look inside the gift, or book, or person, to know their value." Informative notes are included. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
Gr 1–3—They're an unconventional pair. She's just a nice human girl, but he's 6'3", a great swimmer, wears glasses, has a PhD, and by the way-he's blue. From tadpoles to grand-frog, his family welcomes her, but the neighbors are fundamentally against blues on their block. With painted art that seamlessly combines cartoon images and digital techniques, joyous emotions contrast with steely glances of disapproval against backgrounds of vivid color. Font changes to emphasize the text, and angled perspectives move readers from page to page. The accompanying CD includes Peter, Paul, and Mary's 1967 recording with lilt, charm, and folk instrumentation, followed by a 2012 recording by Peter Yarrow of "The Froggy Went a Courtin'" and Noel Paul Stookey's Inside (1986). A CD discography and illustrator's and performer's notes conclude the book, giving readers a historical reference for this song and its initial performance by Peter, Paul and Mary. This book will find a home both in music classrooms to hear folk styling or to entertain another generation of fans.—Mary Elam, Learning Media Services, Plano ISD, TX
Kirkus Reviews
Braunstein's song about racial tolerance comes to 21st-century readers in this picture book, which would not be complete without the enclosed CD recording by Peter, Paul and Mary. Brunet's zany, realistic illustrations vividly portray both the love between the freckled redhead and the tall, lanky blue Dr. Phrog (he has a Ph.D.) and the discrimination they face as a result of their "interracial" relationship despite the frog's solid background, education and family. Both humans and animals fill the huge, full-bleed spreads, in a town that is obviously populated by both, but in no other context do readers see the species mixing. An elephant shields its calf's eyes from the sight of the two sipping from one glass at the soda fountain while the human soda jerk looks on disapprovingly; homogeneous family groups play at the playground (and on the next page, the narrator imagines her fabulous frog/human children). The final illustration departs from this hostility, showing the couple handing out frog-shaped ice-cream pops to the locals, who sport "I heart Phrog" shirts and buttons. While this is certainly a positive development, readers will wonder exactly how the turnaround happened. A "Performers' Note" explains the song's historical background. An interesting take on discrimination and acceptance that will introduce young readers to the sound of an influential musical group. (illustrator's note, three-song CD) (Picture book. 4-10)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781936140374
  • Publisher: Charlesbridge Publishing, Inc.
  • Publication date: 2/1/2013
  • Pages: 28
  • Sales rank: 477,834
  • Age range: 4 - 7 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.70 (w) x 11.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Peter, Paul and Mary became famous for their ability to convey powerful personal and political messages through a repertoire of songs that resonated with millions of Americans in the 1960s. Their debut album, released in 1962, remained in the Top 10 for ten months, and the Top 20 for two years. Their first hit single, "Lemon Tree" was swiftly followed by "If I Had a Hammer," which became an anthem of the Civil Rights movement and was performed by the trio at the 1963 March on Washington where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his legendary "I Have a Dream" speech. Their classic song, "Puff, The Magic Dragon," has been a favorite of children for almost fifty years, and the book version was a number one bestseller. Over a span of more than fifty years, Peter, Paul and Mary touched the lives and hearts of tens of millions of people, won five Grammy Awards, produced thirteen Top 40 hits, and received eight gold and five platinum albums.

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