From “Ages One to Older than Dirt.” That’s the guidance you get at the website for Sandra Boynton’s “Frog Trouble,” which should contend for album of the year in at least that many age groups. Boynton embraces a tradition that goes back to the beginning of song itself–with more recent subscribers as different as Woody Guthrie and They Might Be Giants. It’s getting kids to sing along. The results on “Frog Trouble” are irresistible. Boynton–a writer, illustrator, director, and composer–crafts such perfect pop songs that guest artists stand in line to sing ’em. And it’s quite the illustrious queue here: remarkably Allison Krauss, Darius Rucker, Ryan Adams, Brad Paisley, Dwight Yoakam, Ben Folds, Linda Eder and Fountains of Wayne aren’t even the only famous voices on “Frog Trouble.” Both moving and comic, these songs lasso kids with what’s best described simply as American music.
Boynton’s website, where her tagline reads “looking for a motto since 1973,” is a true renaissance woman of the creative world. Her greetings cards from just after she started looking for a motto changed a staid industry, introducing contemporary humor and style into a business drowning in mawkish sentiment and fauvist florals. Recycled Paper Greetings president Mike Keiser has said her cards sold 500 million copies between 1973 and 2003. Boynton has published over 50 books for children and now made a half-dozen records. Her former teachers include Harold Bloom and Maurice Sendak. She married an Olympian. BB King, Brian Wilson and Eydie Gorme have sung her songs. Frog Trouble may be the only trouble she knows.
The Making of Frog Trouble