Frog and Toad

Frog and Toad is a series of easy-reader children's books, written and illustrated by Arnold Lobel.

Frog and Toad
Frog and toad cover.jpg
Front cover of the first book with seal affixed: Caldecott Honor Book (1971)

AuthorArnold Lobel (also illustrator)
CountryUnited States
GenreChildren's picture book, short story collection
PublisherHarper & Row
Published1970–1979
No. of books4

Each book contains five simple, often humorous, sometimes poignant, short stories chronicling the exploits of an anthropomorphic frog and toad, named Frog and Toad respectively. The situations in which they find themselves are a cross between the human and animal worlds.[1] Some of their adventures include attempting to fly a kite, cleaning Toad's dirty house, and finding out different reasons for isolation.

Frog is taller with a green shade, and is more cheery and relaxed than Toad; Toad is shorter and stout with a brown shade, and while just as caring and friendly as Frog, is also the more serious and uptight of the duo.

OriginsEdit

When Lobel was sick and out of school for much of second grade, he kept himself busy by drawing. He used his animal drawings as a way of coping with the social insecurity of his return and to make friends. His books about animal friends, such as Frog and Toad, were drawn from these experiences. Lobel himself wrote, "Frog and Toad are really two aspects of myself."[2] In The New Yorker, his daughter Adrianne Lobel suggested "that there’s another dimension to the series’s sustained popularity. Frog and Toad are 'of the same sex, and they love each other'," and that the series "really was the beginning of him coming out".[3]

BooksEdit

Omnibus editionsEdit

  • The Frog and Toad Treasury (1996), ISBN 0060267887
    includes Frog and Toad are Friends, Frog and Toad Together, and Frog and Toad All Year
  • Adventures of Frog and Toad (2005), ISBN 0760771049
    includes Frog and Toad are Friends, Frog and Toad Together, and Days with Frog and Toad
  • Frog and Toad Storybook Treasury (2013), ISBN 0062292587
    includes all four original books

Later releasesEdit

In 2008, three of Arnold Lobel's uncolored, unpublished Frog and Toad books were discovered in an estate sale. They were consolidated into two books and colored by Lobel's daughter Adrianne Lobel.[8] They are written, illustrated, and delivered in a manner different from the original four books.

  • The Frogs and Toads All Sang (2009), color by Adrianne Lobel, LCCN 2008-51768
  • Odd Owls and Stout Pigs: A Book of Nonsense (2009), color by Adrianne Lobel, LCCN 2009-1406

ReceptionEdit

Frog and Toad is valued by experts in children's literature for its portrayal of the value of friendship.[9]

Frog and Toad are Friends was a Caldecott Honor Book, or runner-up for the annual American Library Association (ALA) Caldecott Medal, which recognizes children's picture book illustration.[10] In 2012, it was ranked number 15 among the "Top 100 Picture Books" in a survey published by School Library Journal.[11]

Frog and Toad Together was a Newbery Honor Book, which recognizes children's literature.[12]

Frog and Toad All Year won a Christopher Award in 1977 – one of five, at a time when books for young people was the only award category.[13] The awards recognize "media that 'affirm the highest values of the human spirit'  ... Award winners encourage audiences to see the better side of human nature and motivate artists and the general public to use their best instincts on behalf of others."[14]

AdaptationsEdit

In the 1980s, Churchill Films produced 18-minute and 30-minute adaptations of the first two books using clay animation.[15] Both films were directed by John Clark Matthews, credited also as theme music composer and one principal animator. Frog and Toad were voiced by Will Ryan and Hal Smith respectively.[16][17] They were narrated by Lobel.[citation needed] Frog and Toad Are Friends was released on May 23, 1985; Frog and Toad Together on September 3, 1987.[citation needed] They were distributed to the home market only (direct-to-video).[citation needed]

The Frog and Toad books inspired a Broadway musical, A Year with Frog and Toad. The musical was commissioned by Lobel's daughter, Adrianne Lobel, played off-Broadway, and ran briefly on Broadway in 2003. It was nominated for three Tony Awards. Prior to this, the books had inspired a non-musical play, "Frog and Toad (Forever)" written by Y York, and performed at Seattle Children's Theatre in 1998 and First Stage Milwaukee in 1999.

An animated series based on the books is set to premiere on Apple TV+ on April 28, 2023. It stars Nat Faxon as Frog and Kevin Michael Richardson as Toad. It also features Ron Funches, Fortune Feimster, Yvette Nicole Brown, Margaret Cho, Cole Escola, Tom Kenny and Aparna Nancherla.[18]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Julia Mickenberg; Lynne Vallone (3 February 2011). The Oxford Handbook of Children's Literature. Oxford University Press. pp. 76–. ISBN 978-0-19-970191-9.
  2. ^ "Arnold Lobel: Biography". Parents’ Choice Children Media and Toy Reviews. Parents’ Choice. Retrieved 10 January 2017.
  3. ^ Stokes, Colin (31 May 2016). "Frog and Toad': An Amphibious Celebration of Same-Sex Love". New Yorker. New Yorker. Retrieved 14 March 2018.
  4. ^ Frog and Toad are Friends by Arnold Lobel" (starred review). Kirkus Reviews. August 1, 1970. Retrieved 2015-09-19.
  5. ^ "Frog and Toad Together by Arnold Lobel". Kirkus Reviews. April 1, 1972. Retrieved 2015-09-19.
  6. ^ "Frog and Toad All Year by Arnold Lobel by Arnold Lobel". Kirkus Reviews. April 1, 1976. Retrieved 2015-09-19.
  7. ^ "Days with Frog and Toad by Arnold Lobel by Arnold Lobel". Kirkus Reviews. October 1, 1979. Retrieved 2015-09-19.
  8. ^ Block, Melissa (8 June 2009). "Transcript: 'Frog And Toad' Leap Off The Page Again". NPR.org. Retrieved 14 March 2018.
  9. ^ Anita Silvey. The Essential Guide to Children's Books and Their Creators. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. pp. 270–. ISBN 0-547-34889-4.
  10. ^ "Caldecott Medal & Honor Books, 1938–Present". Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC). American Library Association (ALA.org). Retrieved 2015-09-18.
  11. ^ Bird, Elizabeth (July 6, 2012). "Top 100 Picture Books Poll Results". A Fuse #8 Production. Blog. School Library Journal (blog.schoollibraryjournal.com). Archived from the original on 2012-12-04. Retrieved 2012-08-19.
  12. ^ "Newbery Medal and Honor Books, 1922–Present". ALSC. ALA. Retrieved 2015-09-18.
  13. ^ "Christopher Awards 1970–1979". Book Help Web (bookhelpweb.com). Archived 2007-02-06. Retrieved 2015-09-19.
  14. ^ "The Christopher Awards". The Christophers (christophers.org). Retrieved 2015-09-19.
      Official lists of winners are published online only from 2001.
  15. ^ Lenburg, Jeff (1999). The Encyclopedia of Animated Cartoons. Checkmark Books. p. 264. ISBN 0-8160-3831-7. Retrieved 6 June 2020.
  16. ^ "Frog and Toad Are Friends (1985)". Internet Movie Database (IMDb.com). Retrieved 2015-09-19.
  17. ^ "Frog and Toad Together (1987)". IMDb. Retrieved 2015-09-19.
  18. ^ Shanfeld, Ethan (January 25, 2023). "Apple TV+ Sets 'Frog and Toad' Series, Announces Spring Kids and Family Slate (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved January 25, 2023.

External linksEdit