Just in time for Christmas, the iconic fairy tale, Frosty the Snowman, got a fresh new treatment this year by illustrator Wade Zahares, but music fans will rejoice that the accompanying CD features Santa Barbara’s own rock ‘n’ roll legend Kenny Loggins singing the theme song along with two bonus tracks, “Fishin’ Blues” and “Cyndi.” He recently answered a few of my questions over the phone, and what follows is an edited version of our conversation.
What inspired you to be part of this wonderful collaboration on Frosty the Snowman?
When I was a kid, there was a very famous band called Peter, Paul & Mary. I was a big fan of theirs. They had a song called “Puff the Magic Dragon,” and they did a book Puff the Magic Dragon as well. Peter owns a publishing company of his own, so he called me and said, “We’d really love for you to sing the song ‘Frosty the Snowman.’ We got it illustrated by a guy named Wade Zahares.” He showed me the illustrations, and I was really blown away. I wanted to be part of it.
What does the story mean to you?
For me, Frosty the Snowman, the book and the music, is just about having fun and enjoying the winter and enjoying the holiday season, so I approach it in that way.
You’ve written other children’s books, too. What draws you to this medium?
I have five children of my own. The oldest is 33, and the youngest is now 16. Over that time, I’ve gotten to know a lot of children’s books, so when I see something that makes a good project, I want to be part of it.
Do you have any special family holiday traditions?
Well, “Celebrate Me Home,” the song I wrote many years ago, that’s become a Christmas song over the years. And we do have Loggins family traditions. It’s always nice to be home for the holidays because I travel a lot. My daughter Hana and I have this ceramic Christmas village. Over the years, we have built it into a village that covers the whole dining room. Every Christmas, we put it up together, and that starts our season.
What do you hope that readers and listeners will take away from Frosty the Snowman?
I see the Frosty the Snowman book and CD as a great marriage of music and visuals. It’s something parents and children can do together. We need more of that sort of thing, and this is a great way to share the holiday season.
See FrostytheSnowManBook.com for more on the book, which can be purchased at most Santa Barbara bookstores.