Literature / Frog and Toad

A series of children's books by Arnold Lobel, concerning the adventures of Frog and Toad, who are friends.

The series consists of:

  • Frog and Toad are Friends (1970) (Caldecott Honor award)
  • Frog and Toad Together (1972) (Newbery Honor award)
  • Frog and Toad All Year (1976)
  • Days with Frog and Toad (1979)

There is a musical adaptation called A Year with Frog and Toad. The stories were animated for The BBC schools programme Words and Pictures.

There is also an Animated Adaptation of two Frog and Toad books, made by Churchill Films in 1985, and voiced by Will Ryan and Hal Smith.

This series provides examples of:

  • A Dog Named "Dog": Frog is a frog. Toad is a toad. According to John Clark Matthews, who animated the stop-motion adaptation, he once asked Lobel why he didn't give them actual names. Lobel didn't respond well to the query.
    Matthews: There was a pause while his furnace heated up. Then he exploded: "Yeah, sure! Frank the Frog! Tom the Toad! Sid the Snail! (etc!)" I felt like a small bug with a tiny brain. But mostly he was a sweet guy - if you didn't ask too many questions.
  • Barefoot Cartoon Animal: Frog and Toad wear jackets and trousers, but no shoes. Interestingly, when they go swimming, Toad wears a bathing suit but Frog does not.
  • Caretaker Reversal: In one of the books, Toad tries to cheer up Frog because he's sick. Frog gets better but then Toad gets sick and Frog takes care of him.
  • Carnivore Confusion: Frog and Toad themselves are only shown eating human foods such as cookies, ice cream, and sandwiches. However, being eaten by predators is a legitimate fear for them.
  • Civilized Animal: Frog and Toad live in human-like houses, wear clothes, and eat cookies and ice cream. However, they are also realistically scaled against other animals and objects in their environment, and fear predators such as snakes and hawks.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Toad tries to enact this trope by gathering several items with which to rescue Frog, who Toad imagines to be in great danger. Frog is just fine.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: It's the story about a frog and a toad who, per the title of the first book, are friends.
  • Green Around the Gills:
    Toad said, "Frog, you are looking quite green."
    "But I always look green," said Frog. "I am a frog."
    "Today you look very green even for a frog," said Toad.
  • Mouse World: Despite being anthropomorphized, Frog and Toad are realistically sized compared to the other animals in their setting.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: In Toad's dream, he dreams he is the greatest toad in the world. With each act onstage, Frog gets smaller and smaller until he eventually disappears. Toad realizes he is now alone. He wakes up, and Frog is just fine.
  • Obsessed Are the Listmakers: In "The List", a story in Frog and Toad Together, Toad makes a list of things to do and sticks to it so rigidly that when the wind blows the list away, he refuses to chase after it because chasing the list wasn't on his list of things to do. Heck, neither of them feel like they can do anything, because they can't quite remember what was on the list. Eventually, when the sun set, one of them remembers that "go to sleep" was on the list. They write that on the ground, cross it out, and go to sleep right there.
  • Old-Timey Bathing Suit: One story revolves around Toad wearing one of these and trying to not be seen while wearing it.
  • Talking Animal: Essentially all the other animals in the stories except Frog and Toad (who are more Civilized Animals). May or may not simply be Animal Talk, as humans never show up in the series.