The five simple chapters in Arnold Lobel's Days with Frog and Toad
say more about the rewards of friendship than any adult tome ever could. Frog and Toad, the amiable amphibian duo, fly kites, clean house, and tell ghost stories together. And, in a surprisingly sophisticated, yet perfectly easy-to-grasp, segment, they even learn about the value of being alone. Frog is ever-so-slightly more sagacious than Toad; his gentle and supportive way with his chum shows that personal variances don't have to get in the way of friendship. On the contrary: vive la différence
! Arnold Lobel's illustrations in warm frog and toad tones create the perfect atmosphere for this wise and touching early reader, an ALA Notable Children's Book.
Lobel has created four "Frog and Toad" stories for the "I Can Read" books, an immensely popular series with large type, abundant illustrations, and ample spacing that first launched with Else Holmelund Minarik's Little Bear. Fans of the foot-flapping friends won't want to miss Frog and Toad Are Friends (a Caldecott Honor book); Frog and Toad Together (a Newbery Honor book); and Frog and Toad All Year (an ALA Notable Children's Book). Children will be overjoyed to spend an evening--or days on end--with these affectionate friends. (Ages 4 to 8). --Emilie Coulter
--This text refers to the
About the Author
During his distinguished career Arnold Lobel wrote and/or illustrated over 70 books for children. To his illustrating credit, he had a Caldecott Medal book -- Fables (1981) -- and two Caldecott Honor Books-his own Frog and Toad are Friends (1971) and Hildilid's Night by Cheli Duran Ryan (1972). To his writing credit, he had a Newbery Honor Book -- Frog and Toad Together (1973). But to his greatest credit, he had a following of literally millions of young children with whom he shared the warmth and humor of his unpretentious vision of life.
Though he was a born storyteller -- he began making up stories extemporaneously to entertain his fellow second-graders in Schenectady, New York, where he grew up in the care of his grandparents. Mr. Lobel called himself a "lucky amateur" in terms of his writing. Viewing himself as a professionally trained illustrator (he received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Pratt Institute), he said, "I know how to draw pictures. With writing, I don't really know what I'm doing. It's very intuitive."
In addition to the Frog and Toad books, Owl at Home, Mouse Tales, The Book of Pigericks, and many other popular books he created, Mr. Lobel also illustrated other writers' texts that captured his fancy. He viewed this as "something different and challenging." Often his illustrations for those books showed a different aspect of his personality and his artistic expertise, ranging from his meticulous dinosaurs in Dinosaur Time by Peggy Parish to his chilling pen-and-ink drawings in Nightmares: Poems to Trouble Your Sleep by Jack Prelutsky, about which Booklist wrote, "Young readers will be amazed that the gentle Lobel of Frog and Toad fame can be so comfortably diabolic."
In 1977 Mr. Lobel and his wife, Anita, a distinguished children's book author and artist in her own right, collaborated on their first book, How the Rooster Saved the Day, chosen by School Library Journal as one of the Best Books of the Year, 1977. They then collaborated on three more books, A Treeful of Pigs, a 1979 ALA Notable Book; On Market Street, a 1982 Caldecott Honor Book; and The Rose in My Garden, a 1984 Boston Globe/Horn Book Honor Book.
Arnold Lobel died in 1987.