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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Arnold Lobel, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 18 of 18
1. Fusenews: Moominlatte

Good morning!  I’d like to begin today by thanking the good people of Foundation 65 for allowing me to moderate a panel discussion last night with Duncan Tonatiuh, Grace Lin, Matt de la Pena, Janice Harrington, and Steve Sheinkin.  Foundation 65 has created this cool program where these authors are visiting every single child in the Evanston, IL public school system this week.  I helped kick it off, which was lovely.  In this image you’ll see me in a rare moment of not lolling all over the podium (there was no seat high enough for me to sit on, and my heels were killing me).



Travis just offered a fascinating look at the recently released Follett statistics of what children around the country are checking out.  It’s simultaneously unsurprising and disheartening.  If you’re into that feeling, check the list out here.


Gotta hand it to Bookriot.  When they came up with a list of 9 Kids Books That Should Be In Print, they did their due diligence.  No mention of Hey, Pizza Man, but otherwise impeccable.  I have a copy of Trouble for Trumpets of my very own, so I can attest to its awesomeness, and The Church Mouse should definitely find a new audience.  Well written, Danika Ellis.


Two Harold and the Purple Crayon related posts appeared around the same time last week.  The first was from The Ugly Volvo (a.k.a. my replacement for The Toast) called Harold’s Mother and the Purple Crayon.  The other was Phil Nel’s piece How to Read Harold in which he reveals the possible subject of his next book.  There are also some pretty keen links at the end.  Go to it!


This one’s neat.  Middle school teachers Julie Sternberg and Marcie Colleen have collected short audio clips in which storytellers share memories from their childhood.  They write,

“For each memory, we propose writing prompts for students as well as questions for classroom discussion.  Topics range from moments when storytellers have experienced bullying or been bullies themselves; to the first time they remember doing something they knew to be wrong; to difficulties in their home lives; to the effects of keeping secrets.  We hope each story helps kids think through issues that can be difficult to address but impossible to avoid.”

The site is called Play Me a Memory and contributors include everyone from Sarah Weeks and Kat Yeh to Michael Buckley and Matthew Cordell.  If you’re looking for writing prompts to share with kids, this site may prove inspirational.


This is neat:


It’s like fanart for a really recent picture book.  Cool stuff, Migy.


I know Dana Sheridan says that artist Aliisa Lee’s illustrations of classic folktale characters are “manga characters”, but I think the adaptations go a bit further.  These creations look particularly Pokemon-esque.  I could see me capturing one in a public space.  Couldn’t you?

Now for a double shot of espresso/adorableness:


Thanks to Marjorie Ingall for the link.


I outsource some of my knowledge of children’s literature to those better suited than I.  For example, if you were to ask me what the best Christian books series out there might be, I’d probably hem and haw and then excuse myself to the ladies room where I would attempt to climb out the window.  Author/illustrator Aaron Zenz, however, knows his stuff.  Recently he said that the best series is Adam Raccoon and that the books are now officially back-in-print.  FYI, Christian reader type folks!


Just the loveliest piece was written recently at the Horn Book by Sergio Ruzzier about his time looking at the work of Arnold Lobel and James Marshall at the Kerlan Collection.  And though I might take issue with the idea that Marshall’s humans were less charming than his animals, the piece is an utterly fascinating look at the process of the two men.


Daily Image:

And for our last image of the day, we turn once again to good old upcoming Halloween:


Reminds me of the time I went to the Dan Quayle Museum and saw the Fabergé Egg that showed him being sworn in as VP (<— all that I just said is true).  Thanks to Marci for the link.


4 Comments on Fusenews: Moominlatte, last added: 10/27/2016
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2. Five Family Favorites with Arwen Elys Dayton, Author of Traveler

Arwen Elys Dayton, author of Traveler, selected these five family favorites.

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3. Fusenews: Why You Should Go to Kidlitcon (and other interesting facts)

  • KidLitCon 300x158 Fusenews: Why You Should Go to Kidlitcon (and other interesting facts)Oh, you lucky bugs.  Do you know what today is?  Today is the first day of Kidlitcon and for those of you still interested in joining (and who wouldn’t be?) you have a last minute chance to be a part of the fun.  Always assuming you’re in the Austin area, of course, but I bet that LOTS of you are located in that general vicinity.  As you’ll recall, last year Kidlitcon was held in New York City and we did very well indeed with the vast hoards of people.  This year it’s a slightly smaller affair, but no less fascinating and fun.  Full details can be found here but don’t worry if you’ve missed the opening ceremonies.  The bulk of the action is on Saturday anyway, so you’ve still time to join.  So go!  Shoo!  Why waste your time here?
  • I don’t know about you but typically I go through blog reading binges.  I ignore my favorites for long periods of time and then I consume weeks’ worth of material in a single sitting.  I did this recently with the beloved Crooked House.  First, I enjoyed the fact that she highlighted the book How to Do Nothing With Nobody All Alone By Yourself (notable, if nothing else, for the Lemony Snicket quote which reads, “Every great book reminds us that we are all alone in the world. At least this one provides us with the means to entertain ourselves while we’re here.”)  The second post that caught my eye was a transcribed selection from The Mermaid of Brooklyn which I perhaps enjoyed too much.  Too too much.
  • Now some graphic novel news.  There are two horns worth tooting today.  First, there is the fact that I’m on ALSC’s Quicklists Consulting Committee and we recently came up with a newly revised Graphic Novels Reading List, broken down not just by age levels but by whether or not they’re black and white or color.  In related news, kudos to the folks at Good Comics for Kids as well as Snow Wildsmith and Scott Robins for their A Parent’s Guide to the Best Kids’ Comics: Choosing Titles Your Children Will Love.  The SLJ blog and the useful book were both mentioned on the most recent episode of the popular NPR podcast Pop Culture Happy Hour.  The episode Making Toddlers Into Nerds is a bit of a misnomer and they do a lamentable job of mentioning any children’s literature that isn’t either 50 years old or part of a huge series, but at least they get the graphic novels piece right.
  • Questions I never thought to ask until Marjorie Ingall made me: Why do chickens play an outsized role in Jewish children’s picture books?  The answer may surprise you.  Or, at the very least, you’ll be impressed with the amount of thought Marjorie has put into this subject.
  • This is a good one.  Always at the forefront of the diversity issues, Lee and Low recently put on their blog the post Literary Agents Discuss the Diversity Gap in Publishing.  The agents in question are Adriana Domínguez, Karen Grencik, Abigail Samoun, and Lori Nowicki. Much of what they’re saying echoes things we’ve heard from editors over the past few years.  Check it out.
  • I received this message recently and figured you’d want to know about it.  Ahem.

I just wanted to let you know that ABFFE’s 2013 holiday auction will take place on eBay from November 26 through December 2nd.  Please let your colleagues and friends know that this is the best place to buy holiday gifts! More than 50 leading artists and illustrators contributed to last year’s auction and we are hoping for even more art this year.  Once the auction is live, you will be able to access it from a link on www.abffe.org.

  • Me stuff.  Recently I was lucky enough to serve on the New York Times Best Illustrated judging committee for this year’s books.  If you haven’t seen the results I came up with alongside Brian Selznick and Steve Heller you have two choices.  You could look at the fancy dancy NY Times slideshow of the winners here OR you could go on over to 100 Scope Notes and check out Travis Jonker’s truly lovely round-up with book jackets and everything here.
  • Just as I collect children’s literary statues from around the States (I’m STILL updating that post, people, so don’t worry if your favorites haven’t made it yet) I also like to keep tabs on museums of famous children’s authors and illustrators.  You have your Eric Carle Museum, your Edward Gorey Museum, and apparently you also have a Tasha Tudor Museum.  Or, at least, you will when it finds a new host.

SpotLit 300x93 Fusenews: Why You Should Go to Kidlitcon (and other interesting facts)You may or may not have heard about the SpotLit list, created by Scholastic Book Group with the help of scholars, teachers, librarians, and other specialists in the field.  Well, two awesome infographics have been created to show off some of the facts behind it.  I like them partly because they’re infographics and partly because in the group picture it looks like I’m snuggling up to Harry Potter while Hedwig swoops down mere moments before removing my cranium.  This list discusses what the committee looked like and this list discusses what the books on the list consist of.

  • When a new library branch reopens in my city I don’t always report on the fact, but this recent article about the reopened Coney Island Branch is the exception to the rule.  The place looks precisely how you’d want a Coney Island branch to look.  Granted there aren’t any half naked mermaids or rides in the library, but those photographs on the walls are worth the price of admission alone.
  • Jon Klassen’s right.  Interviews with the great illustrator Arnold Lobel are few and far between.  When you can find one, you post it.  And that’s just what he did.  Thank you, Jon.
  • Hat tip to Travis Jonker.  Without him I would have never known that there are TWO children’s literature podcasts out there that had escaped my attention.  I need to upgrade the old sidebar on this blog, do I not?
  • And in the world of grants n’ such:

Greetings! There’s still time to apply for the ALSC Candlewick Press Light the Way grant. The deadline is December 1, 2013. This is a great funding opportunity if you have a project or program related to library service to children in special populations. The application is at this link: http://www.ala.org/alsc/awardsgrants/profawards/candlewicklighttheway

  • Daily Image:

Today’s image may be classified as Best Fan Art Ever, or something along those lines.  How many of you are familiar with Helen Frost’s lovely middle grade Diamond Willow?  Well, it came out in 2008 or so but its fans continue to find it.  Case in point, this young woman who, with her Chinook pet dog, reenacted the cover.  Compare and contrast:


DiamondWillow1 Fusenews: Why You Should Go to Kidlitcon (and other interesting facts)

Fan Made:

DiamondWillow2 500x333 Fusenews: Why You Should Go to Kidlitcon (and other interesting facts)

Utterly adorable.  Many thanks to Helen for sharing this with me


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6 Comments on Fusenews: Why You Should Go to Kidlitcon (and other interesting facts), last added: 11/10/2013
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4. Illustration Inspiration: Diane Goode

DIANE GOODE has illustrated 55 beloved and critically acclaimed picture books, including the New York Times best seller, FOUNDING MOTHERS and the Caldecott Honor Book, WHEN I WAS YOUNG IN THE MOUNTAINS.

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5. Agent Carter Actors Star in Speed Reading Video

Two actors from the Agent Carter TV series, Hayley Atwell and James D’Arcy, took on First Book’s speed reading challenge. In the video embedded above, Atwell and D’Arcy read aloud from Arnold Lobel’s Frog and Toad All Year. Altogether, they managed to read 73 words in only 10 seconds. Click here to find out how Mo Willems fared when he took on this task.

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6. Illustration Inspiration: Stephanie Graegin, Illustrator of Peace is an Offering

Stephanie Graegin spent her childhood drawing and collecting fauna. These days, she lives in Brooklyn, is still drawing, and has managed to keep her animal collection down to one orange cat.

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7. An Excess of Books - Lucy Coats

Headline News....Author's Book Buying Addiction Out of Control--Bookshelves Overwhelmed 

It's been a long convalescence since they chopped me and my back up at the beginning of February.  I'm not a terribly patient person, and lying in bed 'resting' for days and weeks and months is something I find quite trying.  Nevertheless, there have been consolations.  Apart from precious time to write, I have had 'bednet' to keep me in touch with developments in the outside world, and I've had books to read, which is the best legal way of passing time that I know of--and I didn't even have to feel guilty about doing it in the daytime.  Many beloved old favourites have featured in this reading fest, of course, but also piles and piles of lovely new books, which I have been buying lately with the sort of gay abandon Imelda Marcos used to use on  her shoes.  It's all got a bit out of control, really, and while I am not quite as overwhelmed as Arnold Lobel's picture book character (see above) who had 'books to the ceiling, books to the sky', I'm not far off that happy state of affairs. 

The trouble is, I am a book hoarder.  I'm not quite sure how many books I have, but it must be close to the 10,000 mark and growing.  Yes, you did read that right. TEN THOUSAND, mostly divided into subject matter and section, all in alphabetical order by author so I can put my hand on what I need immediately (I am also a librarian manqué).  There is no room for ornaments in my house.  Shelves are for the storing of literary stuff and nothing else.  I have built-in bookcases (here when I arrived), bought bookcases, and bookshelves I have put together myself with much swearing and bashed thumbs.  The Billy shelves from Ikea which live in my office are double and sometimes treble stacked, and now I am running out of room.  The picture below shows a mere fraction of the problem, and I'm not even mentioning the overflowing attics and the floors. 

My husband, the long suffering Wanton Toast Eater, has now issued a decree.  Books. Must. Go.  But which ones?  This question induces complete panic in me.  After all, I might need to refer to any of them at any time--even the old family ones I inherited from my grandmother and great-aunt which haven't been opened since 1953 or possibly since 1853 (hey, they might be valuable or have useful information in them).  I'll probably

23 Comments on An Excess of Books - Lucy Coats, last added: 4/2/2010
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8. A Pile of Books

Wish I wrote it...

Books to the Ceiling

By Arnold Lobel

Books to the ceiling,
books to the sky.
My pile of books are a mile high.
How I love them!
How I need them!
I'll have a long beard
by the time I read them.

0 Comments on A Pile of Books as of 1/1/1900
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9. Owl Clock Giveaway Starts Today!

In celebration of that dear, old, gullible owl from Arnold Lobel's 1975 classic Owl at HomeCSNstores.com is giving away this delightful German wooden clock at Where the Best Books Are! The clock can be viewed by clicking "lights" then going to CSN's online clock store.

Enter now through Aug. 18, by becoming a follower of my blog (if you're already a follower, just let me know) or by sending me a comment. Share memories of Owl at Home, a storybook character you love or a fun product you spotted at CSNstores.com. (Sorry, only U.S. and Canadian residents are eligible to win.)

The Alexander Taron weight-bearing wall clock, which measures 8 inches tall by 6.75 inch wide, comes from the legendary Black Forest region, known for its hand-crafted mechanical clocks since 1640.

Resembling a Great Horned owl with tufts of feathers by its ears, the clock moves its eyes side-to-side every time a pendulum sways below its perch -- an ability that's sure to be the envy of real owls, who can't move their eyes within their sockets and instead must swivel their necks.

What drew me to this whimsical clock were its big observant eyes, set within finely painted circles

3 Comments on Owl Clock Giveaway Starts Today!, last added: 8/11/2010
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10. "Buffalo Dusk" by Carl Sandburg

Some years back, I came across "Buffalo Dusk" by Carl Sandburg. The poem is in The Random House Book of Poetry for Children: A Treasury of 572 Poems for Today's Child (1983) selected by Jack Prelutsky and illustrated by Arnold Lobel. Here it is:
The buffaloes are gone.
And those who saw the buffaloes are gone.
Those who saw the buffaloes by thousands and how they
     pawed the prairie sod into dust with their great hoofs,
     their great heads down pawing on in a great pageant of dusk,
Those who saw the buffaloes are gone.
And the buffaloes are gone.
Sandburg was wrong, but is that what he thought when he wrote the poem in 1920? How many people, in 1920, thought "those who saw the buffaloes" were gone? It wasn't true then, and it wasn't true in 1983 when Jack Prelutsky chose the poem for the collection... Did Prelutsky think so in 1983? And when Lobel was drawing the buffalo herd that accompanies the poem, did he think so?    

1 Comments on "Buffalo Dusk" by Carl Sandburg, last added: 7/23/2011
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11. Good, Clean Fun: ANOTHER BROTHER Book Trailer

I first learned of Matthew Cordell when he was hired to illustrate my picture book, MIGHTY CASEY. Despite Matt’s great artwork, the book never really found an audience, and I guess it sort of died on the vine, as they say. But there are two great things that came out of that book. First,  my ongoing friendship with Matthew and his amazingly talented wife, Julie Halpern. Someday I hope we’re all in the same room! In my opinion, Matt is a hugely gifted illustrator, and a true artist, and an heir in his approach and dedication to Arnold Lobel, who is one of my all-time heroes. He’s also got a touch of William Steig.

Look, I’ll say it. A lot of children’s book illustration, while technically spectacular, isn’t very appealing to kids. Matt’s work, on the other hand, is loose and inviting and draws readers into the story. Like Lobel, and Steig, and James Marshall, and all the best. I really think Matt is that good, and he’s just scratching the surface.

Secondly, I’m gladdened by the consistent pleasure I experience when on odd times I pull out MIGHTY CASEY and read it aloud to large groups of students. I’m telling you, it works every time. We laugh, we have fun, and by the end these kids are right there, leaning in, eager for the play at the plate. Sales or not, those experiences tell me that Matt and I did good together — we made something, you know, put it out into the world. It’s all we can do.

Anyway, Matt created a homemade trailer for his new picture book, ANOTHER BROTHER. Now on sale on every street corner, car trunk, haberdashery — and independent bookstore, too!

Enjoy . . .

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12. Re-Seussification Project: The Results

It was kind of a kooky idea, I admit it.  I’ve seen plenty of sites where artists will reinterpret someone like Maurice Sendak in their own styles.  What I wanted was something a little different.  I wanted to see what would happen if great children’s book illustrators illustrated one another.  If a Lobel illustrated a Bemelmans.  If a Carle illustrated a Silverstein.  Trouble is, famous folk have a way of not bothering to illustrate one another (to say nothing of the fact that a bunch of them are dead as doornails).  The solution?  To offer a silly fun challenge.  And so the Re-Seussification Project was offered: To re-illustrate any Dr. Seuss book in the style of another illustrator.

Now there was some question at first about revealing the identities of the people making the mash-ups.  Some folks thought this fun contest was unfortunate because I wasn’t celebrating the great talents of up-and-coming artists.  So as a compromise, I’ll present the art first and then the names of the artists at the bottom of the page.  Makes it a little more streamlined anyway.

And now . . . the moment you’ve all been waiting for . . . in the order of the faux artists, here’s the lot!

So, we’re all friends here, right?  Right off the bat I’m going to make a confession.  In offering this contest all I really wanted was for someone somewhere to do an Eric Carle.  It was a lot to ask since we’re talking about an artist dealing in the medium of cut paper.  It looked like it wasn’t going to happen.  Then, last night, the final submission was sent in and it was . . .


A brilliant way to start us off!

Next up, I’ve fond memories of this book.  As a child of Kalamazoo I was slightly obsessed with any and every mention of my hometown, no matter where it might be.  Dr. Seuss was one of the few authors to understand the true glory of my hometown’s name and for that I shall forever be grateful.  It lifts my heart a little then to see him memorialized in the form of . . .


I particularly like how worried Babar appears.  One thing’s for certain.  That elephant bird is gonna be one snappy dresser.

This next image didn’t go the easy route, no sir.  Some illustrators have styles that are easier to imitate than others.  For this next one I was incredibly impressed by the sheer details at work.  From the border to the font to the colors to the fact that this looks like an honest-to-gosh watercolor.  Hold onto your hats folks, for you are now in the presence of . . .


The best part is that his name is signed with dePaola’s customary little heart.  THAT is the attention to detail I crave.

10 Comments on Re-Seussification Project: The Results, last added: 3/1/2012
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13. Re-Seussify Seuss Challenge


In case you missed it, this week’s results for School Library Journal’s Fuse #8 Re-Seussify Seuss challenge were in, and they were pretty spectacular! The mission, as set forth by children’s lit guru Betsy Bird, was to draw a spread from a Dr. Seuss book, but in the style of ANOTHER famous picture book artist. I was inspired by the fun mash-up idea, and pulled off the image of Yertle The Turtle in the style of Arnold Lobel, above.

The idea for the image itself came to me pretty easily. It’s no surprise that I love drawing turtles, and Yertle The Turtle is a family favorite. The reptile vs. amphibian factor – Yertle crossed with Frog and Toadwas amusing to me as well. In particular, I wanted to try my hand at Arnold Lobel’s style. I thought the limited palette with textured graphite would be fun, and his characters and watercolors lend themselves easily to my own style. Plus, he’s a fellow Pratt alum!

I learned a lot about Arnold Lobel’s creative process from this video with his daughter, Anita Lobel.  She sought to replicate her father’s paintings when she colored Arnold Lobel’s unfinished The Frogs and Toads All Sang:

I am very interested in Lobel’s use of color separations to make the Frog and Toad illustrations, and I wish I could find more on the subject. While Anita went with full-color in her recent interpretation, I wanted to imitate the 2-color (and black) separations by sticking to a green layer, a brown layer, and dark graphite.  I’m pleased with the result and think it was rather successful, if I do say so myself.

Now go check out Betsy’s post for the other mind-blowing creative Re-Seussification mash-ups!

Filed under: illustration sensations, paintings, videos Tagged: anita lobel, Arnold Lobel, betsy bird, dr seuss, early reader, frog and toad, fuse #8, re-seussify seuss, school library journal, watercolor,
1 Comments on Re-Seussify Seuss Challenge, last added: 3/5/2012
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14. 15 Books That Make Us Feel Nostalgic

What books do you remember most fondly from childhood?

Over at the nostalgia section of Reddit, readers have been sharing the books that make them feel most nostalgic.

To help our readers rediscover these childhood classics, we’ve linked to free samples of the 15 Most Nostalgic Books below–ranked in order by the books’ popularity among Reddit readers.


New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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15. Iditarod Dreams

We had plans to ski last Sunday, but high winds kept the chairlifts  at Whiteface Mountain grounded for the first part of the morning.  Instead of waiting it out, we headed into Lake Placid for some pancakes and a dogsled ride.

I've always been fascinated by the Iditarod, the 1150-mile sled dog race from Anchorage to Nome, Alaska.  A few years ago, my husband and I visited Iditarod headquarters and got to meet some of the amazing dogs that make that journey.  But it was summer, so we couldn't  actually ride on a dogsled.

That's why we jumped at the chance to take a ride with these gorgeous dogs on Lake Placid's Mirror Lake.

The dogs were excited to find out they had some business.

The ride around a frozen Mirror Lake was brisk but spectacular!

This is our musher, whose name has escaped me, but he was very, very cool and friendly.  Interestingly enough, he never actually hollered "Mush!"  He hollered "Hike!" instead.  We were slightly disappointed but got over it.

While we circled the lake, other winter weather lovers were skating or riding toboggans down an icy chute set  up along the shore.

This is Lightning.  He likes to run in the back of the pack and was the friendliest of the sled dogs -- the only one the kids could pet after our ride.  The rest of them couldn't wait to pull us around on the sled but wanted nothing to do with us when the ride was over.  You can see in their eyes that these dogs still have a lot of the wild left in them -- one of the reasons they do so well in the actual race in Alaska.

The real Iditarod is going on right now.  Here's a great website where you can follow the progress of the teams.

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16. Book Review: Frog and Toad Together, by Arnold Lobel

     Frog and Toad were reading a book together. 

     "The people in this book are brave," said Toad. "They fight dragons and giants, and they are never afraid."
     "I wonder if we are brave," said Frog.
     Frog and Toad looked into a mirror.
     "We look brave," said Frog.
     "Yes, but are we?" asked Toad.

Frog and Toad are the best of friends. They do things together. They help each other when things go wrong.  They have cookies together. They read together. They even have heart-pounding adventures together. But mostly, they are the best of friends. 

For Teachers and Librarians:
Arnold Lobel's Frog and Toad stories are short, sweet, to the point, and loved loved loved by the little guys. (I know, I'm probably preaching to the choir, here...) Yet, despite their simpleness, they are full of possibilities in the classroom. Frog and Toad Together as a whole is perfect for a unit on friendship to illustrate the many things good friends do for each other and with each other. Or, how about reading it aloud as part of a lesson on how to fix your day when things go wrong - as Toad learns in A List? The Garden is a fun way to introduce a plant unit - What does a seed need to grow into a plant? What did Toad do that is not useful to get your seeds to grow? Help your kids grasp the concept of willpower by reading Cookies. There are so many more ways you can use this book in your classroom. Read your copy again (or go get one and read it) and open your mind to the possibilities.

For Parents and Caregivers:
This is a book your little guys will love for many, many years - even once they're "too old" for it. Frog and Toad are the best of friends. Though they are both quite different at times, they are always good friends to each other. Toad tends to be a bit grouchy, and a bit afraid of new things or stepping outside what is familiar. Frog is always there to support Toad, and gently guides him when he thinks Toad is being a bit silly or isn't doing something quite right. The situations Arnold Lobel puts Frog and Toad in are ones little kids frequently find themselves in. What kid hasn't tried to test their bravery? And how many have stuffed themselves silly with too much of a good thing (cookies!). And how many (adults included) have worried that their best friend might leave them - in a dream, or for real? Fun to hear read aloud, and fun to read on their own, kids will cherish this one.

For the Kids:
Frog and Toad are the best of friends, and they are always there for each other. Have you ever had a problem, and you didn't know how to solve it, but your friend helped you figure it out? Frog does this for Toad. Have you ever tried to plant a seed, but it wasn't growing and you didn't know why? That happens to Toad, and Frog is there to help him figure out what to do. Have you ever tried to see if you are brave? Was it scary? Wait till you read about what Frog and Toad get into when they try it! This book has five different stories in it, and great pictures to show you what's happening. So, you can read it all at once, or one part at a time, and both ways will be fun. 

For Everyone Else:
All you early forty-somethings on down to teenagers out there may remember the Frog and Toad books fondly. Go find your old copy, dust it off, and take a trip down memory lane. See if it doesn't make you feel good, like it did back then. If you don't have it, or didn't read it, head off to the library and find it, and see what you've been missing.

Title: Frog and Toad Together
Author and Illustrator: Arnold Lobel
Pages: 64
Reading Level: Ages 4-8
Publisher and Date: HarperFestival - a Division of HarperCollinsPublishers, 1999
Edition: I Can Read Picture Book Edition (reprint)
Language: English
Published In: United States
Price: $16.99
ISBN-10: 069401298X
ISBN-13: 978-0694012985

1 Comments on Book Review: Frog and Toad Together, by Arnold Lobel, last added: 7/28/2008
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17. Picture Book Saturday

Some random books from the shelves this week. Hope you find something that you and your children will enjoy!

Shark in the Dark, written by Peter Bently and illustrated by Ben Cort is adorable, literally, from cover to cover. The front cover features a cut-out that appears a shark is going to come right through, out at the reader and the text inside is filled with cute rhymes about how this shark scares all the little fish. When the shark meets someone even bigger than he is, a fish that wants to eat HIM, the shark begins to think a little differently about how he treats fish smaller than he is.

Cute, rhyming text, bright, bold illustrations, and a cute plot make for a great read aloud. Not too scary for the little ones, I promise!

Shark in the Dark
Peter Bently
32 pages
Picture Book
Walker Books
May 2009

The Frogs and Toads All Sang is a brand new collection of short little stories by the infamous Arnold Lobel, with color by Adrienne Lobel. The stories, discovered by his daughter, are as lovely and sweet as anything else you've ever read by Lobel, accompanied by familiar, soft illustrations, perfect for bedtime reading.

I felt comfort while reading this book, as it definitely reminded me of my childhood reading of Lobel's work. Frog and Toad will always be hits!

The Frogs and Toads All Sang
Arnold Lobel
32 pages
Picture Book
May 2009

Maggie's Monkeys, written by Linda Sanders-Wells and illustrated by Abby Carter, is my laugh-out-loud pick of the week. Your kids will be giggle throughout each reading of this adorable book, filled with realistic characters (that I'm sure you're children can relate to!).

When little Maggie declares there are pink monkeys living in the refridgerator, everyone in her family, except for her older brother, is very kind to the "monkeys." Dad puts a "do not disturb" sign on the door, older sister helps Maggie make clothes for the imaginary monkeys, but her older brother is insistant that everyone is just crazy!!

A very cute read, perfect for storytimes, with bright illustrations and an adorable plot!

Maggie's Monkeys
Linda Sanders-Wells
32 pages
Picture Book
April 2009

Finally, Ballyhoo Bay, written by Judy Sierra and illustrated by Derek Anderson, is my do-good choice of the week! It's a sweet story of kids and animals teaming up together to save their beloved beach when highrise apartment buildings are said to be in the works.

Though maybe a bit of a complex plot topic for the younger kiddos, the older ones will certainly understand, and the illustrations are so bold and bright, they'll easily hold the younger ones' attention. Plus it's by Judy Sierra! Ya gotta read it!

Recommended for storytimes and for library shelves.

Ballyhoo Bay
Judy Sierra
40 pages
Picture Book
Simon & Schuster
February 2009

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My Favorite Picture Book...

This morning I got a copy of the Publishers Weekly Fall 2009 Children's Book edition which always makes me very happy. When I get these special editions, first I flip through a few times and look at the pictures and publishers' ads (which are like mini catalogs), then I go back and read the lists and features.

This issue includes a feature complied from Anita Silvey's upcoming Everything I Need to Know I Learned from a Children's Book (out in October from Roaring Brook) for which Silvey asked contributers, "What children's book changed the way you see the world."

If she had asked me, I would have picked Miss Suzy by Miriam Young, illustrated by Arnold Lobel. The title character in this beloved book is a nice gray squirrel who lives in a little house in a big oak tree. She makes firefly lamps and acorn cakes and wears a tiny apron as she sweeps the floor and keeps things tidy. She's quite happy with her simple squirrel existence until a gang of red squirrel thugs descend, chase her away, and take up residence in her once happy oak tree home. (I think one of them had an eyepatch. You knew they were trouble.)

This injustice was very upsetting to me in the early '70s when I first read Miss Suzy. I was a shy, chubby-ish kid and I had my share of being picked on. I hated that mean read squirrel gang and how they picked on Miss Suzy. But (spoiler alert) it all turns out okay. Miss Suzy befriends some toy soldiers (with shiny triangle swords) that she find in the attic she escapes to. She tidies up and takes care of them. And then they kick those thug squirrels furry thug squirrel butts out of Miss Suzy's house. It was so satifying to me that she made friends and her friends stood up for her. She took care of them and they took care of her. As a seven-year-old I knew I wanted friendships like like that. And I knew good could win out over evil. Oh Miss Suzy...I can't wait to go home and read my copy even though the binding it cracked and it's full of crayon marks (which so untidy). But isn't that sign of a well-loved picture book?

I want to hear from you (since I imagine Anita Silvey didn't ask you either)--what book changed the way you saw the world when you were a child? If you'd like to share, post a comment.

14 Comments on , last added: 8/6/2009
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