Frog and Toad
Front cover of the first book with seal affixed: Caldecott Honor Book (1971)
|Genre||Children's picture book, short story collection|
|Publisher||Harper & Row|
|No. of books||4|
Each book contains five simple, often humorous, sometimes poignant, short stories chronicling the exploits of a frog and his friend, a toad. Some of their adventures include: attempting to fly a kite, cleaning Toad's dirty house as opposed to waiting until "Tomorrow", and figuring out the ethics of being "Alone".
Frog is taller, with a green shade, and is more friendly and relaxed than Toad; Toad is shorter and stout, with a brown shade and also the more serious and uptight of the duo. Each book seems to end with a story that shows how much Toad is dependent upon Frog's friendship.
In 2008, three of Arnold Lobel's uncolored, unpublished Frog and Toad books were discovered in an estate sale.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; these books appear to be very different from the original set.
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."
- Frog and Toad are Friends (1970), LCCN 73-105492
- Frog and Toad Together (1972), LCCN 73-183163
- Frog and Toad All Year (1976), LCCN 76-2343
- Days with Frog and Toad (October 3, 1979; ISBN 081243417X), LCCN 78-21786 – "Once more, Lobel leaves the two with their friendship reaffirmed ... the complementary pair continues to delight."
Barnes & Noble published a hardcover omnibus edition of three books in 2008: Adventures of Frog and Toad, comprising the complete text and illustrations of Frog and Toad are Friends, Frog and Toad Together, and Days with Frog and Toad.
Two books that contain references to Frog and Toad were completed by Lobel's daughter Adrianne from uncolored material for three books. They are written, illustrated, and delivered in a manner different from the four Frog and Toad 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
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. In 2012 it was ranked number 15 among the "Top 100 Picture Books" in a survey published by School Library Journal.
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. 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."
In the 1980s, Churchill Films produced 18-minute and 30-minute adaptations of the first two books using clay animation (claymation) stop-motion. Producer George McQuilkin, executive producer Robert B. Churchill. 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. They were narrated by Lobel. Frog and Toad Are Friends was released on May 23, 1985; Frog and Toad Together on September 3, 1987. They were distributed to the home market only (direct-to-video).
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 (1998) and First Stage Milwaukee (1999).
- "Arnold Lobel: Biography". Parents’ Choice Children Media and Toy Reviews. Parents’ Choice. Retrieved 10 January 2017.
- Frog and Toad are Friends by Arnold Lobel" (starred review). Kirkus Reviews. August 1, 1970. Retrieved 2015-09-19.
- "Frog and Toad Together by Arnold Lobel". Kirkus Reviews. April 1, 1972. Retrieved 2015-09-19.
- "Frog and Toad All Year by Arnold Lobel by Arnold Lobel". Kirkus Reviews. April 1, 1976. Retrieved 2015-09-19.
- "Days with Frog and Toad by Arnold Lobel by Arnold Lobel". Kirkus Reviews. October 1, 1979. Retrieved 2015-09-19.
- "Caldecott Medal & Honor Books, 1938–Present". Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC). American Library Association (ALA.org). Retrieved 2015-09-18.
- Bird, Elizabeth (July 6, 2012). "Top 100 Picture Books Poll Results". A Fuse #8 Production. Blog. School Library Journal (blog.schoollibraryjournal.com). Retrieved 2012-08-19.
- "Newbery Medal and Honor Books, 1922–Present". ALSC. ALA. Retrieved 2015-09-18.
- "Christopher Awards 1970–1979". Book Help Web (bookhelpweb.com). Archived 2007-02-06. Retrieved 2015-09-19.
- "The Christopher Awards". The Christophers (christophers.org). Retrieved 2015-09-19.
Official lists of winners are published online only from 2001.
- "Frog and Toad Are Friends (1985)". Internet Movie Database (IMDb.com). Retrieved 2015-09-19.
- "Frog and Toad Together (1987)". IMDb. Retrieved 2015-09-19.