Frog and Toad: The Complete Collection
Harper Collins, 2016
256pp., hbk., RRP $A39.99
In the 1970s two characters appeared in the realms of children’s literature and they are as popular today as they were then. Frog and Toad are an odd couple but Lobel wrote four volumes each with five stories about them exploring their friendship and showing young readers that it is fine to be an individual and your own person. This collection brings together all of the engaging, warm and funny stories and features a special foreword by Julia Donaldson, author of The Gruffalo.
Written with familiar vocabulary in simple sentences and a large font with his hand-drawn and hand-coloured illustrations, Lobel has crafted stories around familiar incidents that young children will resonate with such as the dilemma of sharing a cool ice cream on a hot day, or raking leaves on a windy day. While Frog is the practical one, Toad is more emotional and imaginative as in the story of Christmas Eve when Frog is late and Toad immediately thinks something has happened to him.
“Classic” literature are stories which have a deeply human message that carries across time and space regardless of its historical or geographical setting and even those Frog and Toad have been around for 40 years, each story appeals and echoes with today’s readers just as it did then. Mr 42 loved hearing these as bedtime stories and as he travelled on his journey to being an independent reader he loved that he could read them for himself. Now it is time to share that joy and pleasure with his Miss Nearly 6.