Reading Tips For Parents & Educators

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Frog and Toad’s Decades-Long Influence on Children’s Literacy

Over the span of 26 years, Arnold Lobel wrote and illustrated countless children’s books and received numerous accolades for his work –– a Caldecott Medal, two Caldecott Honors, and a Newbery Honor to name a few. He’s among a select few authors celebrated for both his illustrations and his writing. While his name resonates with many, his characters Frog and Toad have become one of the most acclaimed duos in the world of children’s books. Some would even go as far as to say they’re a pop culture phenomenon! That’s why this year, we’re honoring the 50th Anniversary of Frog and Toad, and toasting to 50 more.

Though we sadly lost Arnold Lobel in 1987, Frog and Toad continued to thrive. The lovable companions had their own musical on Broadway and made a splash in prominent newspapers and magazines across the country. The Atlantic suggests that Frog and Toad taught millennials to appreciate individuality. Julia Donaldson, the beloved author of The Gruffalo, praised Lobel for his optimism in The Guardian. She wrote, “I think we can all recognize ourselves in Toad’s stubbornness and Frog’s common sense.” We couldn’t agree more!

With four books each comprised of five short, simple tales, Frog and Toad are the perfect match for beginning readers. Placed in Level 2 I Can Read! books, the stories are written with mainly one or two syllable words that often repeat. Even so, the storylines are rich and parents wouldn’t be remiss to read them aloud to kids at any level.

Most of us grew up with Frog and Toad in our homes, so it’s exciting to share their adventures with a new generation. There’s no question that these characters are timeless and classic! Frog remains cheerful and steadfast, while Toad is stubborn and relatable. We thank the author Lobel for teaching us how to not take ourselves too seriously. Nobody’s perfect and everybody makes mistakes (even when we try our best!), just like Frog and Toad. Most of all, we thank Lobel’s gentle humor, kindness, and sensibility for teaching us the meaning of true friendship.

As Frog says in “Alone”:

I am happy. I am very happy. This morning when I woke up I felt good because the sun was shining. I felt good because I was a frog. And I felt good because I have you as a friend.

For a complete list of wondrous books that are great for early readers, check out the I Can Read! collection.

For convenient monthly deliveries designed to engage and excite your first-time reader, join the I Can Read! Book Club.