The Circuitous Journey of a Silly Idea

(Warning: You are about to get a glimpse into the thought process of the same children’s author who brought to you a green giraffe named Clyde who stood on his head in the rain and ate a blue banana. And while circumstantial evidence must surely indicate otherwise, no drugs or even alcohol were involved in the creation of the Clyde story or the story idea I’m developing below. I swear. And no weirdly colored animals were harmed in the creation of either story.)

I have an idea for a children’s story about a black and blue frog who can only jump backwards. No matter how hard he tries to jump forward, he always ends up going the other way.

He invariably gets into all kinds of trouble due to his problem, including accidentally jumping onto the back of a bull who is none too happy to have him there.

I have a mental image of a poor frog desperately trying to hold on for dear life as the bull does everything he can to throw the poor frog off.

Now you know why the once-green frog is now black and blue.

I thought of possible titles such as “How the Bullfrog Got Its Name” to “The Frog Who Rode the Bull” and realized that “The Toad Who Road the Bull” sounded better.

Then I thought of possible names for my frog. I didn’t want obvious names like Fred the Frog or Frankie Frog. And besides, if “toad” sounded better in the title, maybe I should just go with a Toad.

Named Fred.

But, why not give Fred a friend who is a frog? And why not name his froggy friend Todd?

It would be logical and normal for a children’s book to have characters named Fred the Frog or a Ted or Todd the Toad.

But I like to add the unexpected and be as silly as possible with some of my children’s books. I guess this is going to be one of them because my book is likely to have a frog named Todd and/or a toad named Fred.

I think the names have an added feature in that they are a bit of a tongue-twister to say together.

So, Fred and the frog are friends, and Todd and the Toad rode the bull.

If it’s not confusing to you yet, I haven’t tried hard enough.

I have to admit that I’m having a difficult time keeping them straight and I created them!

I have a mental picture of a little boy or girl sitting in their mommy or daddy’s lap, sighing, rolling their eyes, and saying impatiently, “No, Daddy. Fred’s the Toad, and his friend is Todd the frog!”

As you can see I have a lot more “work” to do before the story gels, but I wanted to give to you, dear readers the first glimpse of what I have so far, and the crazy thought process that got me here.

With Love,








About russtowne

My wife and I have been married since 1979. We have 3 adult children and 4 young grandsons. I manage a wealth management firm I founded in 2003. My Beloved is a Special Education teacher for Kindergartners and First Graders. I'm a published author of 23 books in a variety of genres for grownups and children. In addition to my family, friends, investing, and writing, my passions include reading, watching classic movies, experiencing waves crashing on rocky shores, hiking in ancient redwood forests, and enjoying our small redwood grove and fern garden.
This entry was posted in Children's Stories Under Development, My Creative Process and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The Circuitous Journey of a Silly Idea

  1. mimijk says:

    I wonder what it means if I totally follow the way you think?? 😉

Leave a Reply to mimijk Cancel reply

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