Book Title: WAR AT THE ICE CREAM STORE: Mustachio Pistachio vs Bully Vanilli (Frank Tl Frogg and Friends) by Cheryl DaVeiga and Dave Gibson
Category: Children’s Fiction (Ages 3-7), 32 pages
Genre: Children’s Picture Book
Publisher: Cheryl DaVeiga and Dave Gibson
Release date: January, 2021
Format available: hardback, paperback, ebook (PDF), interactive multimedia book
Content Rating: G. This children’s book is for everyone.
The first of the Frank TL Frogg and Friends series, War at the Ice Cream Store tells the story of one night at the Frozen Frogg, when Mustachio Pistachio and his “flavorite” flavor friends teach Bulli Vanilli a lesson in kindness and acceptance.
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War at the Ice Cream Store was a cute play on words, with some good themes, and a quirky cast of characters.
I loved the title of this book (hence the reason I read it) and it did have a cute ice cream war filled with sugar clones, storm scoopers, and pieces of reese’s. I also liked the imaginative character renditions and the authors creative storyline. It was interesting and something I can see kids liking for the farfetchedness found within The Frozen Frogg. The book also points you to a website with more character interactions, songs, and a flip book which I thought was a nice touch.
I think the idea behind this book was very much needed, however, it was not necessarily executed in an easy-to-understand way. The writing is not something most younger kids would be able to pronounce/read easily (and at times the font added to that). Also, while I am an avid reader of all things illustrated it felt like some of the images in this book were from clip art and pasted in. Not a cohesive look to the pages.
Overall, I give this book 3.5 stars out of 5. For the cute puns, creative storyline, and the theme of the story.
*I volunteered to read this book in return for my honest feedback. The thoughts and opinions expressed within are my own.
Author Interview With both Cheryl & Dave!
Dave, you’re a well-known songwriter and artist in Nashville. Are your friends and fans surprised that you’ve gone from writing hit songs to writing children’s books?
Dave says: Well, maybe a little bit, but I’ve been performing on stage lately with a frog puppet on my hand, so probably not so much. I’m sure some of them think I’ve lost it, but I’m having so much fun I don’t think much about it. I should mention that one of my most requested songs is a song that my puppet Frank TL (the Lucky) Frogg swears he wrote called The Frog Song, so it should all make sense to them.
Cheryl says: One thing I’ve learned since I began spending time in Nashville is that Dave is a legend there. But he’s not only legendary for writing six number one hits, scores of chart-topping songs for big artists, and winning an ACM (Academy of Country Music award), he’s also known for his humor. His friends instinctively know that this whole project is a natural fit for him. They just can’t believe he’s met someone crazy enough to be his writing partner!
Of the response you’ve gotten to War at the Ice Cream Store, what are you most proud of?
Dave says: I’m most proud of the fact that parents, grandparents, and even big brothers and sisters are bonding together over this book. And of course, I’ve enjoyed the feedback on the War at the Ice Cream Store song, that parents are apparently singing with their children. One dad told me… “if a kid song is going to get stuck in my head, it might as well be one I like!” We’re both pretty proud of that!
Cheryl says: I’m moved by the natural empathy children have shown for the characters. They hurt when Mustachio hurts, they sense the helplessness of the flavors and toppings, and they cheer the power of the friendship that saves the day. They even feel Bully’s contrition and the power of forgiveness. In a world where there’s too much unkindness lately, I’m proud to help them flex their compassion muscles.
The interactive “flipbook” brings the book to life with puppet narration, music, video and the sing-along song. How did this version come about?
Cheryl says: We actually started with the flipbook. Dave and his sister created our puppets for a show we created called The Waterhole Bunch (now on Roku TV stations). While that show was aimed at a little older audience, kids just loved the puppets, and we kept getting requests to do something geared more towards children. And so Frank TL Frogg and Friends was born, and the puppets narrated our book. Then we thought that kids would also love turning some real paper pages, so we got an education on self-publishing!
Dave says: We absolutely love voicing the puppets and making the music. In addition to the War at the Ice Cream Store flipbook, there’s a “Meet Frank TL Frogg and Friends” FREE flipbook at our website where kids can meet them all, read along, watch some funny videos, sing along with the Frog Song and more.
There are a lot of books for kids out there on anti-bullying. What makes yours different?
Dave says: That’s an interesting question since we never started our writing a book about anti-bullying..or anti-anything for that matter. We started writing a book about ice cream. As songwriters, we like to play with words, so we started out with “vanilla”, which sounded a bit like Bully, and Bully Vanilli was born after we went for an easy rhyme. His name defined his character.
Cheryl says: And then I Googled “least popular ice cream flavor,” and based on that search, poor Pistachio became Bully’s target. From there, the story wrote itself. The kindness message just embedded itself in the story line.
What’s coming next from Frank TL Frogg and Friends and Lucky Fork?
Dave says: Well, we have a songwriting partner who is quite the rock n’ roll guitarist and artist. (He and Cheryl actually won an ASCAP award for a song they wrote together.) And we’ve created a rock n’ roll puppet who is a bit fashioned after him who’s going to have quite the harrowing adventure in Lucky Fork…You’ll have to wait for that adventure just a little longer. We can’t let the frog out of the bag just yet…but soon…
Cheryl says: We’ll just tell you it involves guitars and insects at a picnic ground in Lucky Fork…and some country rock n’ roll. We’ll leave it at that for now. At some point, there could even be an Ice Cream Store World War II…but maybe it’s time for peace! We love how it’s all turning out, and one thing we’ve both agreed on is that all of our future books will have a kindness message.
Both say: Thanks so much for having us!
Meet the Authors:
Cheryl is an award-winning songwriter, children’s song recording artist (as the cartoon character CADi Grace), and the co-creator of the puppet musical and comedy show, The Waterhole Bunch. After the success of The Waterhole Bunch, Cheryl along with co-creator Dave Gibson, spun off the main character, Frank TL (The Lucky) Frogg, into a children’s entertainment concept, Frank TL Frogg and Friends, featuring the puppets in a magical town called Lucky Fork, Tennessee. Frank TL Frogg and Friends includes books, songs, videos, games, and more for younger audiences. War at the Ice Cream Store is the first of the Frank TL Frogg and Friends children’s book series.
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