Just as coast-to-coast networks threaten to make local children s programming a thing of the past, we get this report from Peaks View, Montana, last bastion of mom and pop programming
Froggy Doo has been kidnapped. That s right folks, Froggy Doo, local TV legend and certified puppet, disappeared during a live show in front of hundreds of young fans. And if that s not strange enough, J. Edgar Hoover himself has sent two agents in to investigate the disappearance of Peaks View s favorite frog. I kid you not.
David Brinkley, on the Huntley-Brinkley Report in 1968
Froggy Doo, the wisecracking marionette operated and voiced by Happy Herb, is loved by all the kids all the kids except young Elliott Plumm. Elliott (13) has outgrown the show and no longer believes in Froggy Doo; in fact, he doesn t believe in much of anything anymore, least of all himself, which causes a considerable amount of tension between him and his five year-old brother Rocky, who believes in everything especially Froggy Doo.
What s real for Elliott is the anxiety he feels at home. His father, Mick, an ex-boxer, treats his oldest son as though he s invisible, and secretly blames the boy for his not going to the Olympics thirteen years ago. His mother, Roxie, loves him dearly, but is so busy trying to keep the bills paid, her husband sober, and her marriage together that she doesn t have much time left for her firstborn son.
Initially, Elliott has no interest in the Frog-napping, but when an odd-looking trailer pulls onto the empty lot next door carrying young Haley (a new neighbor, junior sleuth, and Trixie Belden fan), everything changes. Soon, Elliott, Haley, and Rocky band together and embark on a mission to find Froggy Doo. And what starts out as a lark for Elliott becomes increasingly essential as the stakes for him rise dramatically: if he can crack the case before the FBI, he could win the heart of the girl he s falling for, bond with his little brother, give his mother the