Blue Flower

A Frog He Would A-wooing Go by Randolph Caldecott


The British folk song A Frog He Would A-wooing Go has a long and intriguing history. At first, it looks a bit silly, nonsense series of rhymes, made to entertain a few kids. It talks about a Frog visiting a Mouse and in its most popular variant a Rat is the other visitor. This unusual meeting ends tragically by arrival of a Cat and a few kittens. Yet, after a while we can find some interesting connections with history, linguistics and even a culinary. Shall we dig in with a help of superb illustrations of legendary Randolph Caldecott?

Cover of A Frog He Would A-wooing Go by Randolph Caldecott

This book is part of the series R. Caldecott's Picture Books, published by George Routledge & Sons and is also part of the history of so-called Golden Age of illustration, roughly started by Crane, Caldecott, and Greenaway. It helps to defined a picture book as a independent media with defined form and audience, setting the foundations of multi-billion business as it's today.

Frog decided to leave the house. Mother's advice is of no interest to him.

He needs some flowers, of course.

Now he is ready for the visit.

He meets the Rat and they continue together.

They are such jolly good fellows, aren't they?

Now they are at the house of the Mouse.

Yes, the Mouse is at home!

Some people might think it's a strange combination - the Frog and the Mouse.

Everything is ready for the party.

Drink is coming too.

Let's dance.

Strange? For some, defnitely. For others - not.

Time for a toast!

The Frog, the Mouse and the Rat enjoy themselves.

The Frog and the Mouse like each other more and more.

The mouse starts playing.

The Frog and the Rat start dancing.

Oh, no. Do we have some uninvited guests?

The Cat got the Rat and her kittens caught the poor Mouse.

Only the Frog escaped.

His biggest day turns into a catastrophe.

But it could be worse ... And it is, when the Duck grabs the Frog!

It's a sad ending of the story. Now there's just a hat to help us remember the Frog.