Friday, February 26, 2010

Frog and Toad and me

Friday, February 26, 2010

My favorite favorite favorite children's series ever are the Frog and Toad books by Arnold Lobel. Each story is sweeter than the last, and if I wrote children's books I'd have to stop writing before beginning because the best have already been written. I love Jan Brett and I love Dan and Audrey Wood and I love many others, but for stories that just make me happy, "Frog and Toad" are better for me than chocolate (even Cadbury Mini Eggs).

Lobel died the year I graduated from high school--before I'd even really become acquainted with his books. Yes, I'd shelved them in my parents store, sold plenty of them, perhaps even read them to my nieces and nephews. But it took growing up to truly love these little stories. And when I found out he died (which I didn't until last year), I was sad, the kind of sad I was when John Denver died. I still can't listen to John Denver without a tinge of melancholy sneaking up on me.

My favorite of these stories is "Cookies."

In the story, Toad bakes some cookies and then runs off to share them with Frog. They both agree they're the best they've ever eaten, and they keep trying to stop eating them. But they can't. So Frog says they'll need will power in order to stop. They put the cookies in a box, tie it with a string, put it on a high shelf, but still they know they can get to it. So Frog takes it down, cuts the string, opens the box, and feeds the rest of the cookies to the birds. Toad bemoans the fact that they're all gone now, but Frog says, "Yes, but we have lots and lots of will power." "You may keep it all, Frog," says Toad. "I am going to go home now and bake a cake."

I have no will power. I hide treats from myself all the time--or make them hard to access by putting them in the basement. (Should I be embarrassed to admit that? Hm.)I've been known to throw away candy because I'm afraid I'll eat it if it taunts me from the cupboard too loudly. And then I go out and buy more junk because I miss that taunting. So I get this story. I love it. I claim it.

I strongly recommend you go out and buy the "Frog and Toad" collections--whether you have children or not.

Now you'll have to excuse me. I have a bag of Cadbury Mini Eggs to finish off.

And while I'm doing that, tell me what some of your favorite children's stories/authors are and why?


Mendy said...

I love Frog and Toad. I still have my old, worn copies that my mom read to me. "Cookies" is my favorite as well - how can you not relate to that? After that it would be "Spring." I also have my Frances books by the Hobans. They are so preachy, but that's kind of how I roll. Over at the Sugar City blog they just compiled a list of favorite bedtimes stories - check it out:
Oh and I really like the new look for your blog:)

Bobbie said...

I've never seen that blog before (sugarcityjournal). Yet one more reason I need to quit FB: so I can explore new blogs instead of people's homepages.

I love the Frances books, too. The simplicity of children's books makes reading to my kids a soothing way to end my day. Sure, it benefits them too. Whatever. But I like how it relaxes *me* as well.

(And thanks. Glad you like the new look. It's a little dark and I may change it yet again if I ever decide to brave wordpress.)

Abby said...

Love You Forever by Robert Munsch :]

I forgot that my mom had read it to all three of us kids when we were younger until I observed a Kindergarten classroom and saw the teacher (my own Kindergarten teacher) reading it to the class.
Great story and the pictures are hilarious.

Maryanne said...

I love Frog and Toad too. And if Mendy hadn't gotten here first, I could have accused her of being a follower, b/c my favorites are Spring and cookies.
I like to periodically read certain stories to reinforce points-- like Bread and Jam for Frances, or The Little Red Hen (I like the Jerry Pinckney version) or Green Eggs and Ham.

My little little kids have loved Goodnight Gorilla by Peggy Rathman and the older ones and I find Officer Buckle and Gloria (also by her) funny.

We really enjoyed reading the My Father's Dragon series (3 chapter books) by Ruth Stiles Gannett.

So hard to decide favorites.

Bobbie said...

I love that my youngest is 5 and I still hear of books I haven't read them yet! Thanks for the suggestions.