Friday, July 25, 2008

Book Review: Frog and Toad Together, by Arnold Lobel

     Frog and Toad were reading a book together. 
     "The people in this book are brave," said Toad. "They fight dragons and giants, and they are never afraid."
     "I wonder if we are brave," said Frog.
     Frog and Toad looked into a mirror.
     "We look brave," said Frog.
     "Yes, but are we?" asked Toad.

Frog and Toad are the best of friends. They do things together. They help each other when things go wrong.  They have cookies together. They read together. They even have heart-pounding adventures together. But mostly, they are the best of friends. 

For Teachers and Librarians:
Arnold Lobel's Frog and Toad stories are short, sweet, to the point, and loved loved loved by the little guys. (I know, I'm probably preaching to the choir, here...) Yet, despite their simpleness, they are full of possibilities in the classroom. Frog and Toad Together as a whole is perfect for a unit on friendship to illustrate the many things good friends do for each other and with each other. Or, how about reading it aloud as part of a lesson on how to fix your day when things go wrong - as Toad learns in A List? The Garden is a fun way to introduce a plant unit - What does a seed need to grow into a plant? What did Toad do that is not useful to get your seeds to grow? Help your kids grasp the concept of willpower by reading Cookies. There are so many more ways you can use this book in your classroom. Read your copy again (or go get one and read it) and open your mind to the possibilities.

For Parents and Caregivers:
This is a book your little guys will love for many, many years - even once they're "too old" for it. Frog and Toad are the best of friends. Though they are both quite different at times, they are always good friends to each other. Toad tends to be a bit grouchy, and a bit afraid of new things or stepping outside what is familiar. Frog is always there to support Toad, and gently guides him when he thinks Toad is being a bit silly or isn't doing something quite right. The situations Arnold Lobel puts Frog and Toad in are ones little kids frequently find themselves in. What kid hasn't tried to test their bravery? And how many have stuffed themselves silly with too much of a good thing (cookies!). And how many (adults included) have worried that their best friend might leave them - in a dream, or for real? Fun to hear read aloud, and fun to read on their own, kids will cherish this one.

For the Kids:
Frog and Toad are the best of friends, and they are always there for each other. Have you ever had a problem, and you didn't know how to solve it, but your friend helped you figure it out? Frog does this for Toad. Have you ever tried to plant a seed, but it wasn't growing and you didn't know why? That happens to Toad, and Frog is there to help him figure out what to do. Have you ever tried to see if you are brave? Was it scary? Wait till you read about what Frog and Toad get into when they try it! This book has five different stories in it, and great pictures to show you what's happening. So, you can read it all at once, or one part at a time, and both ways will be fun. 

For Everyone Else:
All you early forty-somethings on down to teenagers out there may remember the Frog and Toad books fondly. Go find your old copy, dust it off, and take a trip down memory lane. See if it doesn't make you feel good, like it did back then. If you don't have it, or didn't read it, head off to the library and find it, and see what you've been missing.

Title: Frog and Toad Together
Author and Illustrator: Arnold Lobel
Pages: 64
Reading Level: Ages 4-8
Publisher and Date: HarperFestival - a Division of HarperCollinsPublishers, 1999
Edition: I Can Read Picture Book Edition (reprint)
Language: English
Published In: United States
Price: $16.99
ISBN-10: 069401298X
ISBN-13: 978-0694012985