Arnold Lobel

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Arnold Lobel
Arnold Lobel.jpg
Born Arnold Stark Lobel
(1933-05-22)May 22, 1933
Los Angeles, California
Died December 4, 1987(1987-12-04) (aged 54)
Manhattan, New York, U.S.
Occupation Writer, illustrator
Nationality American
Genre Children's picture books
Notable works
Notable awards Caldecott Medal
Spouse Anita Lobel
Children Adrianne Lobel, Adam Lobel

Arnold Stark Lobel (May 22, 1933 – December 4, 1987) was an American author of children's books, including the Frog and Toad series and Mouse Soup. He both wrote and illustrated those picture books, as well as Fables, for which he won the 1981 Caldecott Medal recognizing the year's best-illustrated U.S. picture book.

Lobel also illustrated the works of other writers, including Sam the Minuteman by Nathaniel Benchley, published in 1969.


Lobel was born in Los Angeles, California, to Lucille Stark and Joseph Lobel, but was raised in Schenectady, New York.[1] He attended Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. When he graduated from art school, he married Anita Kempler, also a children's writer and illustrator. They had two children: daughter Adrianne and son Adam, and three grandchildren.

In 1974, he told his family that he was gay.[2]

Lobel died of a heart attack on December 4, 1987, at Doctors Hospital in New York, after suffering from AIDS for some time.[3][4][5]

In 2009, Adrianne Lobel started releasing some of her father's archive material in the form of new books, with added watercolors by her.[clarification needed] The Frogs and Toads All Sang was released in May and Odd Owls and Stout Pigs in October 2009.


Lobel won the 1981 Caldecott Medal from the American Library Association, recognizing Fables as the year's best-illustrated U.S. children's picture book. He was also a runner-up in 1971 and 1972 Medals, for Frog and Toad are Friends and Hildilid's Night (Caldecott Honor Books).[6] He won the Garden State Children's Book Award from the New Jersey Library Association for Mouse Soup (1977). He won a Newbery Honor Award in 1973 for Frog and Toad Together (1972).[7]

Selected works as writer[edit]

  • Prince Bertram the Bad (1963)
  • A Holiday for Mister Muster (1963)
  • Giant John (1964)
  • Lucille (1964)
  • The Bears of the Air (1966)
  • Martha the Movie Mouse (1966)
  • The Comic Adventures of Old Mother Hubbard and Her Dog (1968)
  • The Great Blueness and Other Predicaments" (1968)
  • Small Pig (1969)
  • Ice-Cream Cone Coot, and Other Rare Birds (1971)
  • On the Day Peter Stuyvesant Sailed Into Town (1971)
  • Owl at Home (1975)
  • Grasshopper on the Road (1978)
  • A Treeful of Pigs (1979)
  • Fables (1980) (A Caldecott Medal winner)
  • Uncle Elephant (1981)
  • Ming Lo Moves the Mountain (1982)
  • The Book of Pigericks: Pig Limericks (1983)
  • The Rose in My Garden (1984)
  • Whiskers & Rhymes (1985)
  • Odd Owls & Stout Pigs: A Book of Nonsense (2009), color by Adrianne Lobel[8]

Frog and Toad series[edit]

A series of books featuring Frog and Toad

The musical A Year with Frog and Toad (workshopped 2000, premiered 2002), by Adrianne Lobel and others, played on Broadway in 2003 and has toured nationally since.

  • The Frogs and Toads All Sang (2009), color by Adrianne Lobel[9]

Mister Muster series[edit]

Featuring Arnold Lobel's first self-written and illustrated book

  • A Zoo for Mister Muster (1962)
  • A Holiday for Mister Muster (1963)

Mouse series[edit]

  • Mouse Tales (1972)
  • Mouse Soup (1977) (Garden State Children's Book Award winner)

As illustrator[edit]

  • Happy Times with Holiday Rhymes (1958) by Tamar Grand
  • My First Book of Prayers (1958) by Edythe Scharfstein, Sol Scharfstein, and Ezekiel Schloss
  • The Book of Chanukah Poems, Riddles, Stories, Songs, Things to Do (1959) by Edythe Scharfstein and Ezekial Schloss
  • The Complete Book of Hanukkah (1959) by Kinneret Chiel
  • Holidays are Nice: Around the Year with the Jewish Child (1960) by Robert Garvey and Ezekiel Schloss
  • Red Tag Comes Back (1961) by Fred Phleger
  • Something Old Something New (1961) by Susan Rhinehart
  • Little Runner of the Longhouse (1962) by Betty Baker
  • The Secret Three (1963) by Mildred Myrick
  • Miss Suzy (1964) by Miriam Young
  • Dudley Pippin (1965) by Phil Ressner
  • The Witch on the Corner (1966) by Felice Holman
  • The Star Thief (1968) by Andrea DiNoto
  • Ants Are Fun (1969) by Mildred Myrick
  • I'll Fix Anthony (1969) by Judith Viorst
  • Hansel and Gretel (1971) by The Brothers Grimm
  • As I Was Crossing Boston Common (1973) by Norma Farber
  • The Clay Pot Boy (1974) by Cynthia Jameson
  • The Random House Book of Mother Goose (1986)

Written by Millicent E. Selsam[edit]

A series of Science I Can Read Books all written by Millicent E. Selsam and illustrated by Arnold Lobel:

  • Greg's Microscope (1963)
  • Terry and the Caterpillars (1963)
  • Let's Get Turtles (1965)
  • Benny's Animals and How He Put Them in Order (1966)

Written by Jack Prelutsky[edit]

Books that Arnold Lobel illustrated for Jack Prelutsky:

  • The Terrible Tiger (1970)
  • Circus (1974)
  • Nightmares: Poems to Trouble Your Sleep (1976)
  • The Mean Old Mean Hyena (1978)
  • The Headless Horseman Rides Tonight: More Poems to Trouble Your Sleep (1980)
  • The Random House Book of Poetry for Children (1983)
  • Tyrannosaurus Was a Beast: Dinosaur Poems (1988)

Written by Nathaniel Benchley[edit]

Books that Arnold Lobel illustrated for Nathaniel Benchley:

  • Red Fox and His Canoe (1964)
  • Oscar Otter (1966)
  • The Strange Disappearance of Arthur Cluck (1967)
  • Sam the Minuteman (1969)

Written by Peggy Parish[edit]

Books that Arnold Lobel illustrated for Peggy Parish:

  • Let's Be Indians (1962)
  • Let's Be Early Settlers with Daniel Boone (1967)
  • Dinosaur Time (1974)

Written by Lilian Moore[edit]

Books that Arnold Lobel illustrated for Lilian Moore:

  • The Magic Spectacles and Other Easy-to-Read Stories (1965)
  • Junk Day on Juniper Street and Other Easy-to-Read Stories (1969)

Written by Edward Lear[edit]

Books that Arnold Lobel illustrated for Edward Lear:

  • The Four Little Children Who Went Around the World (1968)
  • The New Vestments (1970)

Written by Charlotte Zolotow[edit]

Books that Arnold Lobel illustrated for Charlotte Zolotow:

  • The Quarreling Book (1963)
  • Someday (1965)

Written by Jean van Leeuwen[edit]

Books that Arnold Lobel illustrated for Jean van Leeuwen:

  • Tales of Oliver Pig (1979)
  • More Tales of Oliver Pig (1981)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Arnold (Stark) Lobel Biography from Dictionary of Literary Biography on Arnold (Stark) Lobel". Bookrags. Retrieved 8 February 2015. 
  2. ^ Stokes, Colin. ""Frog and Toad": An Amphibious Celebration of Same-Sex Love". The New Yorker. New Yorker. Retrieved June 1, 2016. 
  3. ^ "Arnold Lobel, 54, author, illustrator" (Google News Archive), Ocala Star-Banner, p. 5B, December 8, 1987, retrieved January 15, 2012 
  4. ^ "It has name: AIDS" (Google News Archive), Rome News-Tribune, Associated Press, January 7, 1990, retrieved January 15, 2012 
  5. ^ Stout, Hilary (December 6, 1987), "Arnold Lobel, Author-Illustrator", The New York Times 
  6. ^ "Caldecott Medal & Honor Books, 1938-Present". American Library Association. Retrieved 8 February 2015. 
  7. ^ "Newbery Medal and Honor Books, 1922-Present | Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC)". Retrieved 2016-01-19. 
  8. ^ Odd owls & stour pigs in libraries (WorldCat catalog). Retrieved March 12, 2014. The cover image seems to say "Words by Adrianne Lobel".
  9. ^ The frogs and toads all sang in libraries (WorldCat catalog). Retrieved March 12, 2014.
  • Hearn, Michael (January 10, 1988), "Arnold Lobel: An Appreciation", The Washington Post (ProQuest) 
  • Shannon, George. Arnold Lobel. Boston: Twayne, 1989.

External links[edit]