One of the most important milestones in a child’s life is learning the intricacies of friendship — sussing out who to be friends with, discovering what friends do together, resolving differences and figuring out how to make up after a quarrel, etc. Still, when you’re four or five years old, having someone(s) whom you can play and laugh with, and share snacks or simple experiences with, is a pretty good start, I reckon.
Upon first read, the eponymous best friends in Arnold Lobel’s Frog and Toad stories probably seem like an odd couple — Frog is tall, green (but of course!), relaxed, friendly and easy-going, while Toad is short, brown, serious, uptight, nervous and prone to worrying. However, the beauty of their friendship — and hence these stories — lies in the way that they are the perfect foil for each other’s personality quirks, and how they stumble along together, attempting to make sense of the world. And, in spite of their differences, Frog and Toad are always willing to go the extra mile for each other, to forgive and forget, and to be there for each other. Honestly, in terms of friendship role-models for the little ones, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a more endearing pair of best friends.
While the Frog and Toad stories are considered ‘simple’ in terms of the length of the stories and language used — both a plus for young readers — they are also crafted with heart and empathy, and can be surprisingly complex, funny and poignant, so much so that they are enjoyable even for grown-ups: a rare quality for such ‘easy-readers’.
The Frog and Toad Storybook Treasury thus compiles ALL FOUR classic Frog and Toad books — Frog and Toad are Friends (1970), Frog and Toad Together (1972), Frog and Toad All Year (1976), and Days with Frog and Toad (1979) — complete with the original illustrations, in a beautiful, value-for-money hardback copy that is a must-have on every child’s bookshelf.