I have such strong attachments to books I read when I was small, and I love the idea of a new little person enjoying the same books I did – maybe even falling in love with a book so much that they remember it fondly when they’re older.
“Frog and Toad are Friends” is a “learning to read book” for an older child, but since it was one of my favorites when I was small, I bought it for Nate before he turned 1, with the idea that he’d grow into it.
I grabbed it one evening when we needed some new entertainment. I figured the newness of the book would compensate for the lack of many illustrations (though the illustrations are wonderful, they’re just not the main element on every page like most of our other books.)
It didn’t take me long to remember why I enjoyed this book so much. I found myself laughing out loud at “The Swim,” in which Toad wears a bathing suit to go swimming but begs Frog and the other animals not to look at him because he “looks funny” in it. The story is amazingly well-crafted, entertaining, and smart. It’s also really, really funny.
Then there’s “The Letter,” where Toad bemoans the fact that no one has ever sent him a letter, so Frog decides to send him one that very day. When it doesn’t show up, Frog tells Toad he sent him a letter, and Toad is so happy, they don’t mind waiting 4 days for the mail to arrive. Why did it take so long for the letter to get there? Frog asked a snail to deliver it. Yes. Snailmail.
Nate’s favorite is “Lost Button” involving, a lost button and all the animals who help Toad try to find it.Toad gets angry that none of the buttons are his, but his generosity in the end of the story more than makes up for his bad mood.
Nate now runs around saying “Toad” “Toad” “Toad” and talks about the animals in the book. “Lizard!” “Raccoon!” “Toad” (again). It’s our latest reading hit, and one I am so happy I picked up now instead of waiting for when it was more age-appropriate.