Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Children's Book Review: Frog And Toad Together

 Name of book: Frog And Toad Together
Author  / Illustrator: Written and Illustrated by Arnold Lobel
What's It All About: Frog and Toad books are collections of short stories from Arnold Lobel's lovely brain.

This book contains five stories about the two friends:
A List
The Garden
Dragons and Giants
The Dream 

Each story is only a few pages long and the words are typed out nice and large for beginning readers. The reason these are so amazing is that the stories can be read and enjoyed by grown-ups as well--no sugary stories with terrible writing here! Lobel manages to capture this world of Frog and Toad with a few colors, great illustrations, and charming words.  These are a must for any library!
My Favorite Bit: My family still quotes from all these Frog and Toad stories but in this collection my favorite would have to be the story 'A List'.  While each story, particularly 'Cookies', is memorable, 'A List' resonates with me.  I love lists and Toad cannot do anything he wants to because his list has blown away.  Frog helps him make a new list and once he is done he crosses the last thing off it and can go to sleep.  Toad has the best lines though he is more dramatic than the sensible Frog.  Also the phrase from 'Dragons and Giants' "We are not afraid! screamed Toad" is great.  Read these please. 
Suitable Age For Reading It To: From two to ninety, I'll be reading these for the rest of my life (even without kids or grandkids on my knee). 
Be wary of books that put this whole book collection into one volume.  It's best separated and easy to pull out and enjoy.  So just look for Frog And Toad Together to start with.
A little about the Author and/or Illustrator: Arnold Lobel was born on my birthday May 22 in 1933 and passed away in December of 1987.  He was born in Los Angeles but grew up in Schenectady New York where he lived with his grandparents.  After art school he married Anita Kempler who also became an accomplished author.  They had two children.  Lobel got many of his ideas for his own books from watching cartoons with his children.  When he was young he used to tell stories and illustrate them to entertain his schoolmates and said that borrowing books from the library was one of his favorite things to do.

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