Young Reader in the Making

Young Reader in the Making

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Book 44: Froggy Went A-Courtin'

Book 44: Froggy Went A-Courtin', by Kevin O'Malley, Stewart, Tabor & Chang 1992.  Elementary

The first time I encountered this book, I was a little appalled, and intrigued. The intrigue won and I ended up buying the book.

Froggy has jumped from the swamp to the big city. So big is the city that, in fact, Froggy is a gangster. And Miss Mousy? She owns a speakeasy. If you go back to some of the earlier versions of this song, it turns out it is not such a big leap after all. Froggy does go riding with a sword and pistol by his side; certainly, that would presage violence. And in those earlier versions, the wedding party is devoured, so serving a seven to eleven year prison sentence seems quite mild.

The illustrations are fantastic. I love Kevin O'Malley's take on the verse where Miss Mousy sits and cards and spins -- he doesn't portray wool -- he shows a deck of cards and a roulette wheel. Very clever interpretation. Have I read it to my toddler son, yet? Um, no. But I will when he's old enough to understand irony.

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