’ So we settled down, and he recited from beginning to end in verse a story he had just written in his head.”The “Frog and Toad” books remain in print to this day, and still pop up on the bookshelves of young parents.
I asked Adrianne, who now has a teen-age daughter of her own, why she thinks the two characters have such staying power.
Having begun his career doing work for advertising agencies, he started illustrating for Harper & Row in 1961, and the following year published his book “A Zoo for Mr.
Muster,” about a man who becomes a zookeeper so that he can spend every day with his animal friends.
“It was the only thing he wrote that involved a relationship,” she said. I wanted to think about how fine everything is.” In the end, the trials of their relationship are worth bearing, because Frog and Toad are most content when they’re together.
After Toad imagines all of the most dramatic things that could have happened to Frog on his walk over, and prepares to set out to rescue him, Frog shows up at Toad’s door with a gift in hand. “ ‘Oh, Frog,’ said Toad, ‘I am so glad to be spending Christmas with you.’ "Lobel, who wrote and illustrated the Frog and Toad series, was born in 1933 and raised in Schenectady, New York.
Well, if I have an unhappy love affair, I have to somehow use all that pain and suffering but turn it into a work for children. But knowing the strains of sadness in Lobel's life story gives his simple and elegant stories new poignancies.
On the final page of “Alone,” Frog and Toad, having cleared up their misunderstanding, sit contently on the island looking into the distance, each with his arm around the other.
Lobel’s ending, “That night Frog and Toad were both happy when they each turned out the light and went to bed,” is a satisfying conclusion that nonetheless makes the mind roam.
One wonders if the friends will meet the next day and ask each other expectantly whether cleaning up their yards had been difficult, only to be flummoxed when they heard that, yes, it was.