The adventures of these two amphibians make for some of the simplest – and most enjoyable – chapter books for developing readers. Toad and Frog are, indeed, friends, and their respect for each other comes through on every page.

Arnold Lobel’s writing is engaging without being cloying, and the vocabulary is basic without being babyish. The story is illustrated with swamp-toned sketches of the friends and their surroundings.

Even though the characters are fictional, the feelings they share are very real, and the care they show for each other and the world around them stands as a good example of behavior. Children seem to relate strongly to these tales. In response to “The Letter,” in which Frog becomes Toad’s pen pal to fulfill his friend’s desire for mail, one boy said, “I never get mail either! That is sad!” The themes of friendship and growing up seem to resonate strongly – even if they’re expressed by amphibians.

The kite flew into the air. It climbed higher and higher. “We did it!” cried Toad. “Yes,” said Frog. “If a running and waving try did not work, and a running, waving, and jumping try did not work, I knew that a running, waving, jumping and shouting try just had to work.” The robins flew out of the bush. But they could not fly as high as the kite. Frog and Toad sat and watched their kite. It seemed to be flying way up at the top of the sky.

Twenty stories are to be found in this pretty book, arranged in seasons. The stories are truly funny and touching as well.

Frog & Toad all year
Author: Arnold Lobel
Illustrations: Arnold Lobel
Publisher: HarperCollins
Prijs: $6,50