F seems to have an extreme love for all of her book “collections”. We have several of them – big, heavy books with multiple books inside. She loves to pull these big books off the shelf and say “Let me choose my story”, and then she purses her lips together, and clucks her tongue as she runs her finger down the table of contents as if she could read the titles. I taught her the phrase “Table of Contents” just so I could hear her mutter it under her breath repeatedly as she flips past the title page and onto her page of choice. Harold and the Purple Crayon, Curious George, Amelia Bedelia, the Frances stories, her poetry anthologies, her fairy tale collections. One of E’s favorite collections (and now F’s as well) is the big book of Frog and Toad stories by Arnold Lobel. There are three books inside, each with five stories, and I love them as well – I can still remember early reading groups in school with Frog and Toad stories. They are a fairly easy read for new readers, but E still likes to pick the book up and breeze through all the stories.
Do we have a favorite? It would have to be Cookies. Frog and Toad are eating themselves silly and are determined to find a way to stop.eating.cookies. Their various solutions involve boxing up the cookies, tying the box with string, hiding the box on a very tall shelf…but as easily as they rid themselves of temptation they find it still right in front of them. I love their desire to find “willpower”, eventually feeding the remaining cookies to the birds. Toad decides (rightly) that willpower is really for the birds, and heads home to bake a cake. I love a good amphibian with a sweet tooth.
The other day the girls were plowing through a bowl of grapes at a rapid pace. I told them a couple of times that they had eaten enough, but they continued right on at the same speed. Finally E pushed the bowl away and said “What we need is willpower.” To which F promptly added “…said Frog to Toad.”
The Frog and Toad books are great for newish readers and anyone who enjoys a good story about two friends. Oh, and all lovers of Tables of Contents. Especially those.
So tell me, what is your favorite Frog and Toad tale?
Find these titles at your favorite local independent bookstore. Happy reading!