Froggy Goes to School
By Jonathan London; illustrated by Frank Remkiewicz
For those of the Baby Boomer generation, there was a jingle on the radio that signaled the end of all things summer. It presaged school, schedules, earlier bedtimes and butterflies in the tummy time, as all manner of imaginings emerged before the first day of school. The jingle was sponsored by a clothing store long since defunct, having gone the way of chain stores such as E.J. Korvettes and Alexanders. It’s still on YouTube. The popular, but ominous jingle went:
School bells ring and children sing,
IT’S BACK TO ROBERT HALL AGAIN!
Mother knows for better clothes,
IT’S BACK TO ROBERT HALL AGAIN!
You’ll save more on clothes for school,
SHOP AT ROBERT HALL!
To quote the anvil salesman from “The Music Man”, “Not on your life, girly, girl!” We did not shop at Robert Hall because as do many public and private school students of today, we wore a UNIFORM – that great leveler of individuality and competition in school attire. Come to think of it, does the antsy amphibian, Froggy, wear a uniform to school?
Find out from that famous frog, as he is a GREAT go to read aloud for parents and kids facing their very first day of school or their 3rd!
Can you parents remember sometimes having had dreams preceding the first day of school about being late via missed buses because of alarm clocks that don’t ring? Froggy’s nightmare is a bit more extreme. Though awakening late, he does make the bus, BUT forgets to don school clothes of ANY KIND save undies!! Thank goodness, he wakes up to his father’s bright “Rise and shine,” (my dear mom used the SAME line), to discover his worst fears were a DREAM.
Young readers can fully identify with the green goggle-eyed young frog that is an easy stand in for them and their concerns. Froggy shares them and lives them – first.
Kids will feel a calm settling over their pre-school nervousness as Froggy joins in the school days activities with relish, getting some things right, like his name printed on the desk, while other skills need a bit more work such as paying attention, speaking softly and not falling out of his seat!
Young back-to-schoolers who find themselves drawing comparisons to Froggy, will find similarities and a few relieved, “Hey, I never did that!”
The youngsters are having a fine time with their teacher, Miss Witherspoon, sharing their summer adventures, when Mr. Mugwort, the Croc enters with a glare on his face just as Froggy is singing the song he learned when he was taught to swim. Is Froggy in trouble on his very FIRST day? No way! Mr. Mugwort is a singer of songs too!
Please join Froggy and your young reader in allaying all fears about the first day of school. If Froggy and family can happily navigate the return to school, so can you and your young scholars!
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