Three Dancing Frogs
New Frontier , 2020
32pp., hbk., RRP $A24.99
From high in the hollow of a tree, the owl watches the strange activity below. The animal orchestra is gathering, a stage and seating are being set up and tickets are being sold. What is happening? From far and wide the animals gather – possums, geckos, bilbies beetles…everyone is ready in anticipation.
And then onto the stage come three little frogs, dressed in their tutus and ready to put on a show they have been practising for a long time. In the moonlight they entrance their audience, but in the distance thunder is rumbling… will it end the show before it is finished?
Told in rhyme with a rhythm that echoes the nature of the frogs’ performance (reflecting the author’s singer-songwriter background), this is a feel-good story that is just right for drawing the curtains on a rambunctious day. The illustrations are just as soft and gentle with lots of detail to discover with each reading, bringing a serenity that will settle the most fractious. And should there be a storm rolling around then they will gain comfort and calm by knowing the frogs danced through it without fear.
It opens up lots of possibilities to not only explore the bush creatures but also the instruments of the orchestra and the world of dance. With fruit bats on flutes, a spider on a harp, the violin, the cello and the viola, and a big bass drum, the child could listen to the sounds they make and suggest the sort of music that the frogs are dancing to and then make up their own movements. Or follow up with an introduction to Swan Lake with this clip. Or this one. While this was not the inspiration for the story, it is too good a match not to share!