A Frog Named Sam

Common Sense Media says

Roots music for kids is a treat for grown-ups, too.





What parents need to know

Positive messages

"I Need a Hand" is a sentimental song about safety rules, like crossing the street by holding the hand of some you love.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Not applicable
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this is a retro, swingin' CD that draws from lots of traditional American music styles to make a kid-friendly compilation perfect for the toddler and preschool crew. Kids will get an intro to bluegrass, roots, and doo-wop music while listening to stories about fish, frogs, and racecars as sung by the fatherly Ben Rudnick and his musical friends.

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What's the story?

The Americana roots-infused family music band Ben Rudnick & Friends is back with its fifth release, A FROG NAMED SAM. The CD offers a mix of original tunes, instrumentals, and some old favorites. The title track is about a frog that moves to the big city to start a rock band but then misses his old pond friends. Classics like "Old Joe" and "Erie Canal" round things out.

Is it any good?


Eschewing typical cartoony kids' music, Ben Rudnick & Friends' offer up a mix Allman Brothers Band-style southern rock with the groovy eclecticism of a band like Phish. The silly and singable lyrics are addictive, and the band's musicianship is outstanding. Young ears will get to know the sounds of the saxophone, ukulele, dobro and mandolin and will find it easy to dance, sing-along, and bang some pots and pans to these high-energy tracks.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how different instruments sound. There are at least 15 instruments used to create the music you hear on this CD. Can you identify any of the instruments being played? What instruments sound deep and booming and what instruments sound high-pitched like a bird singing? Do you hear any instruments you would like to try to play?

Music details

Artist:Ben Rudnick & Friends
Release date:March 24, 2009
Label:Bartlett Ave. Records
Genre:Children's Music
Parental advisory:No
Edited version available:No

This review of A Frog Named Sam was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Adult Written byhemckinstry April 3, 2009

Another great album from Ben Rudnick and Friends!

Our kids have been listening to Ben Rudnick & Friends albums for years and always enjoyed them. "A Frog Named Sam" is no exception. The kids are 7 and 9 years old, and still haven't outgrown the fun of listening to these upbeat, sometimes quite original, sometimes quite traditional, toe-tapping, body-strapped-in-car-seat-bopping songs. Other family favorite albums from Ben include "Blast-Off!", "Emily's Song" and "Fun and Games".


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