I was going to leave out my two favorite friends because I thought, “Frog and Toad are so popular, who doesn’t know and love these guys?” Then I realized I would be doing Arnold Lobel and Frog and Toad a diservice by not mentioning them here.
My copies of these books smell like an old school. There are hints of crayon and a light bouquet of pencil shavings.
Arold Lobel created hilarious and touching stories about Frog and Toad using sight words (words that children would have difficulty sounding out so they have to know them by ‘sight’) that children who are just starting to read on their own need practice with to become more confident and fluent readers. The books are an invaluable addition to any home or classroom library because they entertain while they teach.
Each of the Frog and Toad books has several stories in it. One of the most beloved ( by me) Frog and Toad tales come from the book Frog and Toad Together. In this story Toad makes himself a list of things to do during his day. Toad is quite proud of his organizational skills until a large gust of wind blows his list out of his hand. As Frog tries to help his friend recapture the list Toad frantically tells Frog he cannot because “running after my list is not one of the things that I wrote on my list of things to do.” Frog and Toad end up sitting down and doing nothing until Frog figures out he can write a new list in the dirt with a stick.
I don’t know one person who hasn’t had a day like that. You start fully proud of what an awesome and organized adult you are and end up paralyzed by your inability to complete your list. That is why I loved Frog and Toad when I was little and why I still love them now. Lobel seems to poke fun at his characters the most when they take every day life to seriously. Frog and Toad give readers an avenue to laugh at themselves while still feeling superior to the beloved cartoon amphibians.
Also, Lobel’s illustrations come standard with smiles. Even on a dark day Frog and Toad on a bicycle built for two fills me with warm, fuzzy memories. Trust me, even the cynics in your life can’t resist a frog in a blazer on a fixed gear bike.