Author/illustrator/greeting card writer/all-round creative genius Sandra Boynton stopped by the BookPage offices Tuesday during a break from her latest project — recording an all-country album of children’s songs. In her 30-year career, Boynton has sold a bazillion copies of beloved children’s books like Moo Baa La La La and Blue Hat, Green Hat but music is her true love these days. Boynton tells us she’s having an “amazing” time producing her new album in Nashville with some of country music’s top recording artists.
Frog Trouble, a CD and illustrated songbook, will be released simultaneously next fall by Workman Publishing and Warner Music. Boynton co-wrote the songs with partner Mike Ford and is producing the recording sessions on Music Row, with many of Nashville’s “phenomenal” musicians adding their talents to the project. Alison Krauss, Brad Paisley, Dwight Yoakam and Sheryl Crow are among the 12 artists contributing vocals.
“People kept asking me when I was going to do a country album,” says Boynton, whose previous musical projects include Rhinoceras Tap, Dog Train and the Grammy-nominated Philadelphia Chickens. Though she grew up in Philadelphia, Boynton felt an affinity for country music since her childhood days of watching cowboy shows on TV and listening to rockabilly stars like Buddy Holly. “I’m going back to my country roots,” she says (only half-joking), describing the songs on Frog Trouble as “retro country, somewhere between old country music and the current sound.”
Boynton’s approach to children’s music is unique: “If you hear it, you shouldn’t know it’s for kids,” she says. Judging from the samples we’ve heard, Frog Trouble hits the nail on the head with sweet country melodies and Boynton’s trademark humor.
WIN SANDRA BOYNTON’S NEW BOOK: While music is her “favorite” activity of the many creative endeavors she’s involved in, Boynton definitely hasn’t given up on books. Her latest, Christmas Parade, is out this week with an animal marching band that takes to the street to ring in the holiday. We have one copy of Christmas Parade, signed by Sandra Boynton, to give to a Book Case reader.
To enter, leave a comment with the title of a country song you’d like to write. We’ll choose a winner on Monday, October 8 at 5 p.m. Download the contest rules here.