ISBN 978-1-922722-67-6
PAPERBACK   176 pages


AVAILABLE THROUGH
TITLE PAGE  (for booksellers) or DIRECT FROM THE AUTHOR (for readers)

Robert the Frog

What I have in my heart and soul must find a way out.
That’s the reason for music.

Robert the Frog is a timeless tale about an adventurous young frog who is accidentally swept from his home by a raging river. After a long, dangerous journey he finds himself in a strange new home.

Here he overcomes his fear and sense of loss with the help of a welcoming, friendly farmer, who communicates with him through music.

It is this unexpected connection that gives Robert hope that he will survive in these new surrounds, and that one day he will be able to find his way home.

Steve McGlaughlin Author Photo

About the Author

Though seemingly destined to be an accountant like his grandfather, or a businessman like his father, author Steve B. McGlaughlin instead had the equal shortest prospective career as an accountant in world history. One that reached its practical end the day he limped through the final semester of his Bachelor of Commerce in 1989, but had reached its natural end a term earlier, when he had been sat down by his accounting tutor, and told a simple, but brutal truth, “Steve, you should never be an accountant, you are utterly terrible at it.”

Unshackled from his fate, but having not the slightest clue as to what the alternative career should or might be, Steve did the only thing he could think to do, which was to grow his hair long and travel the world. In retrospect, as though instinctively following Kierkegaard’s maxim that life must be lived forwards but can only be understood backwards, there was clearly some hidden method at work in this meandering adventure.

For it was on it that Steve, quite unexpectedly, found himself busking and living in Prague in the magical, joyful summer the year after the Czech Velvet Revolution. An experience which undoubtedly provided the initial creative spark for his first novel, Robert the Frog, a story which has music and hope at its heart.

Upon returning home, alongside working in market research and as a copywriter, Steve became part of the Australian music and comedy scenes. A career that in summary fittingly sounds like the beginning of a joke: did you hear the one about the guy who wrote years of TV sketch comedy, played guitar in 90s alternative bands, and composed hit songs for Polish, Vietnamese and Korean pop stars?

In 2013, Steve apparently surprised no-one but himself, given his deep interest in Carl Jung and the potential of creativity to act as an agent of healing, undertook a Master of Counselling and Psychotherapy degree. It proved a transformative experience, both on a personal level (which is the topic of his short essay: “The Synchronicity of Robert the Frog”), and on a creative one: providing, as it did, the impetus, experiences and content for Robert the Frog.

Similarly, to the works of his literary guides, C. S. Lewis, Richard Adams and Michael Morpurgo, Robert the Frog, can be read on two distinct levels. Its surface tells a thoughtful, wistful, at times funny, all-ages tale of the adventures of four anthropomorphised animals who embark on a journey of great risk to save a beloved friend.

But its undercurrent is a meditation on, or even an ode to, the belief that even the most seemingly intractable grief and loss can be reached and transformed through the subtle but beautiful arts: creativity, music, connection and hope. Or as the Beethoven quote on Robert the Frog’s cover proclaims, and which the book holds as an inspirational truth: “What I have in my heart and soul must find a way out. That’s the reason for music.”

Testimonials

This is a beautifully written, sweet soulful story. Some parts are laugh out loud, too. There is something harmonious about it,the characters and the story. The way music is used as both an expression of joy and a force for healing is really touching and true.

B.H

 

I just want to tell you how much I loved Robert the Frog. I laughed and cried and was on the edge of my seat! I was imagining reading it to a classroom of children and seeing the emotion in their faces. Wonderfully written and a fabulous story of never giving up.

J.S

 

What a wonderful book you have written. There is so much in it that is inspiring and encouraging. It reminded me of books I read as a little girl that also had little animals as the heroes with big hearts and courage.

H.M

 

I liked the story so very much, it is well-written and I enjoyed the exciting cliff hangers. I was also picturing how a great animated film could be made out of the story; any plans? I wish you all the success with it.

C.K

 

It is a beautifully crafted novel that’s not merely about music, but is itself musical; the writing flows and pulses with rhythms that effortlessly carry us on Robert’s strange, deeply moving journey. I was stilled, marvelling, for some time after finishing it. Like the greatest fables, we totally identify with the animals and their journey. Moving and profound.

J.B

 

The book is delightful, well done a thousand times; Robert is such an endearing character. I only wish I could have it in picture book form and then I could have it at school in the therapy room.

D.A

 

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