There are four books that make up the Frog and Toad Series:
- Frog and Toad are Friends (1970)
- Frog and Toad Together (1972)
- Frog and Toad All Year (1976)
- Days with Frog and Toad (1979)
These books were intended towards the audience of early-readers children. It attracts children by the representation of friendship that Frog and Toad share. Unlike other books, this book has a unique way of portraying real aspects of what a friendship entails. An example of their friendship can be seen in Frog and Toad are Friends.
“What is wrong, Toad? You look sad.”
“Yes, this is my sad time of day. I am waiting for the mail to come. It always makes me unhappy.”
“Why is that?”
“Because I never get any mail”
“You never get mail?”
“No, never. No one has ever sent me a letter. Hmmm.”
“I must go home now. I have something I must do.”
Eventually in this book Frog makes Toad a letter and sends it to him in the mail. This particular scene shows the readers the lengths a sincere friendship goes through just to make your friend smile. Although, this is just one particular book from the series this sincere message is given throughout the books. These messages give children a chance to either connect with Frog, who is happy, cheerful, kind, or Toad, who has a crazy side and could be considered reckless. An example of the different characteristics of Frog and Toad can be seen in Frog and Toad Together.
“We must stop eating!” cried Toad as he ate another.
“Yes,” said Frog, reaching for a cookie, “we need will power.”
“What is will power?” asked Toad.
“Will power is trying hard not to do something that really
want to do,” said Frog.
“You mean like trying not to eat all of these cookies?” asked Toad.
“Right,” said Frog.
Frog put the cookies in a box. “There,” he said. “Now we will not eat any more cookies.”
“But we can open the box,” said Toad.
“That is true,” said Frog. Frog got a ladder. He put the box up on high shelf. “There,” said Frog. “Now we will not eat any more cookie.”
“But we can climb the ladder and take the box down from the shelf and cut the string and open the box,” said Toad.
“That is true,” said Frog. Frog climbed the ladder and took the box down from the shelf.
He cuts the string and opened the box. Frog took the box outside. He shouted in a loud voices
“HEY BIRDS. HERE ARE COOKIES!”
Birds came from everywhere. They picked up all the cookies in their beaks and flew away.
“Now we have no more cookies to eat,” said Toad sadly.
“Not even one,”
“Yes,” said Frog, “but we have lots of will power.” “You may keep it all, Frog,” said Toad.
“I am going home now to bake a cake.”
This scene shows the readers Frog and Toads personalities individually but it can also remind readers of friends that they have like Frog and Toad. As readers, we can recall of a friend who is often sticking to their morals or a friend that can be a little reluctant towards following morals. In addition to friendship and moral lessons these series also display themes like build up of self-esteem and overcoming fears.
Besides the characters and storyline, the illustrations in this book are very different in the way Lobel chose the brown/green colors and the rustic drawings of Frog and Toad. Although the illustrations are not as defined, we can feel a warm home feeling throughout these illustrations. These books are quite simple but they can offer the reader a lot within the stories, pictures, and illustrations. The sentences and storylines are short that is very easy to understand. Despite their simplicity, these books are full of possibilities and offer a great read for readers.
Hileman, Sophie. “Arnold Lobel’s Frog and Toad Stories.” Crisis Magazine. Crisis Magazine, 05 March. 2015. Web. 29 Feb. 2016 http://www.crisismagazine.com/2015/arnold-lobel-frog-toad-stories-modern-childrens-classics