iRead features the best ebooks, eaudiobooks and print books for children and teens curated by the Children's Room and Teen Center staff.
50 Years of Frog and Toad
Arnold Lobel’s Frog and Toad celebrate fifty years of friendship this summer and honestly, their loving relationship couldn’t be timelier, as we all search for deepening our friendships and relationships during this time of isolation and social distancing. My three best girlfriends of twenty-plus years and I share nightly text messages just ‘checking in’ on each other, a ritual created back at the start of quarantine. Our nightly check-in has been a constant comfort amid the increasing chaos of the outside world as well as our own mental health ups and downs. The four of us have vastly different personalities and yet we always find a way to support, challenge, and celebrate each other—I’d like to think in a way similar to Frog and Toad.
The lasting impact of the Frog and Toad stories lies in the grace that the two friends give one another. When Toad refuses to get out of bed one spring (Frog and Toad are Friends), Frog decides that a little manipulation of time is worth it when it comes to spending the spring and summer with his friend. Although they have different outlooks on things, Frog and his best friend Toad understand that their love for each other is what matters. The sacrifices-both big and small-that they make remind us of the value of knowing someone completely and isn’t that what we need more than anything right now? To see and be seen by our dearest friends? I think so and I truly believe Arnold Lobel did too.
Frog and Toad Are Friends (1970)
A Caldecott Honor Book
Spring: One April day, Frog races to Toad’s house to celebrate the beautiful weather, only to find Toad still hibernating. Rather than wait another month, Frog decides to trick Toad into thinking it’s time to get up by ripping the pages from Toad’s calendar until he gets to May—thus compelling Toad to get up and celebrate the spring weather with him.
The Story: Frog, not feeling well, requests a story from Toad. Unfortunately storytelling is not Toad’s forte. Nonetheless, he spends the whole day trying to come up with a story for Frog, who now feels better and happily eases Toad’s distress with a story of his own.
A Lost Button:While on a walk together, Toad discovers he’s lost a jacket button. The two friends retrace their steps, finding a collection of other lost buttons along the way, only for Toad to spot the button back at home. Toad sews up a surprise for Frog as a way to thank him for the trouble he put Frog through.
A Swim: Frog and Toad decide to go for a swim, but have differing opinions on the practicality of swimming trunks. Toad’s preference of wearing a bathing suit makes him self-conscious in the presence of other animals who, with Frog, gently tease him for worrying so.
The Letter: While on a visit to Toad, Frog discovers his friend is sad over never receiving any mail. In order to cheer Toad, Frog decides to write him a letter, which takes longer than anticipated to arrive.
Frog and Toad Together (1972)
A Newbery Honor Book
A List: Toad makes a list to plan out his day. While on a walk with Frog, the list blows away. Unsure what to do without a plan, the two friends spend the rest of the day doing nothing, until night, when Toad recalls the last item on his list: Go to sleep.
The Garden:When Frog shows off his impressive garden, Toad decides he must plant one too. Toad frets and fusses over his newly planted seeds, even though Frog tries to explain that he must have patience.
Cookies: When Toad shares freshly baked cookies with Frog, the two friends discover they have very little willpower to curb their eating habits. It takes teamwork and ingenuity to come up with a plan that will keep them from eating all the cookies in one sitting.
Dragons and Giants:After reading a fairy tale about heroes, Frog and Toad ponder their own bravery. After going on a harrowing adventure, the friends realize that sometimes it is brave enough to just have good friends.
The Dream: One night, Toad has a dream of being the Greatest Toad in All the World, however the dream turns to a nightmare as each of Toad’s actions lead to Frog shrinking until he can no longer be seen or heard by anyone. Upon waking, Toad sees Frog has come for a visit and the two friends play together, easing the worry from Toad’s head.
Frog and Toad All Year (1976)
Down the Hill: Frog coaxes Toad from his cozy bed in the middle of winter, buys him warm winter clothes, much to Toad’s chagrin. Once on the sled, Toad discovers a much more exciting adventure than he anticipated.
The Corner: On a rainy day, Frog tells Toad a story of looking for spring. On his journey, he goes around various corners and finds many signs of spring.
Ice Cream: One hot summer day, Frog suggests the two friends get ice cream. In order to make his friend’s wish come true, Toad runs off to get them two ice cream cones, but his journey becomes a series of sticky misadventures.
The Surprise: In the fall, both Frog and Toad decide to do a kind act for each other by raking all the leaves in their respective yards. Their work makes each friend feel very proud of the kindness they did for the other.
Christmas Eve: Toad cooks a big dinner and decorates his home for Christmas Eve, but Frog is late. Toad goes looking for his friend, only to learn that Christmas Eve isn’t for another full day. Luckily, Frog has chosen a thoughtful and helpful gift for Toad that will help him keep track of the days.
Days with Frog and Toad (1979)
Tomorrow: Toad wakes up to a messy house and decides to put everything off until ‘tomorrow.’ When Frog comes over, he encourages Toad to go ahead and put things away now so that tomorrow won’t be such a hard day.
The Kite: Frog and Toad have trouble getting their kite to fly. The birds in the meadow discourage Toad from trying, but he refuses to give up. His determination and stick-to-it-iveness allow the friends to experience a happy day with their kite in the air.
Shivers:On a cold and dark night, Frog decides to tell Toad a ghost story. Toad is not sure he really wants to get the shivers, but listens to Frog’s story anyway, stopping Frog often to ask questions and relieved to have a friend by his side.
The Hat: Frog gives Toad a hat for his birthday. Unfortunately the hat is much too big for Toad so Frog devises a clever plan to help Toad’s head grow into the hat.
Alone:Toad learns an important lesson about friendship when he reads a note from Frog saying that he wants to spend the day alone. Worried, Toad sets off to do things that will cheer Frog up. Eventually the friends discover that while sometimes being alone is a good thing, other times being alone together is good too.