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Frog and Toad Are Friends Paperback – February 18, 2003
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Frog and Toad agreed: it was a perfect day for a swim. And Frog was kind enough not to look at Toad in his bathing suit, per Toad's request. But when the swimming was over, a crowd had gathered to see Toad in his funny-looking suit, and neither Frog nor Toad could make them leave.
The endearing pair hop along through five enchanting stories, looking for lost buttons, greeting the spring, and waiting for mail. Their genuine care for each other makes Frog and Toad two of the finest amphibious role models around. Young readers will chuckle with Frog as they watch Toad's silly efforts to make up a story. And they will applaud Toad as he finally wakes up after hibernating all winter. The fifth story will warm the hearts of any would-be pen pal--or anyone who has ever known what it's like to have a true-blue (or green) friend.
Arnold Lobel's comfortable brown and green illustrations invite and delight every reader, setting the tone for warm, funny stories about friendship. A Caldecott Honor Book and finalist for the National Book Award for Children's Literature, this installment of Lobel's classic Frog and Toad series is another essential addition to any youngster's shelf. If you need even more of Frog and Toad, don't miss Frog and Toad Together, Frog and Toad All Year, and Days with Frog and Toad. (Ages 4 to 8) --Emilie Coulter --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
"The give-and-take of a fast friendship between Frog and Toad is gently affectionate." -- "C." "[The stories] have freshness, humor, and a beguiling childlike simplicity." -- "H."
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Now for the negative comments: The Kindle versions are extremely disappointing; the font and illustrations are quite small. One can double tap and increase the font size a little bit, in small sections. This doesn't allow for reading to a child while smoothly running a finger under the words being read, as it would if all of the text on a page was enlarged at once. Running a finger under the text is a significant step in teaching a child to read while using "I Can Read" books, so this particular "double tap" method defeats that purpose.
In addition, the illustrations don't seem as vibrant as in the hardcover books and they can't be enlarged. The publisher did a real disservice to both the author and the readers by the poor job they did in transferring the books into digital format.
Even with my dislike for the way in which the publisher digitalized this book, it is still a very worthwhile purchase. It's message is timeless and the stories and illustrations are sure to appeal to both it's target audience and to the adults reading it to them.
The problem is this isn't really an ebook but a set of scans - single images, two pages at a time, so that you can't even read them in portrait mode. Perhaps the newer Fire models can accommodate this somehow, but on both my Paperwhite and my son's 7" Fire, as well as the Kindle desktop application, each two-page scan is forced into a single landscape display. I don't exaggerate when I say these are nothing but images of the pages. There seems to be no interaction available with the text, and zooming in on the illustrations isn't possible. Even basic pinch zooming in on the entire page isn't permitted.
I don't approve of giving good books poor ratings because of publisher laziness. If I did, this one would get 2 or 3 stars. The colors are a little more vibrant than in the newer print editions, and for what it's worth the scans are clear. The table of contents does work, but not from the Go To menu, only on the actual Table of Contents page.
If you already own these books in print and you have a big Kindle or REALLY good eyesight, go for it. Otherwise, do yourself a favor and buy the physical books. Lobel's work is essential for both children and adults, stunningly wise at times and always beautiful. The Frog and Toad stories are among his best, and these ones are particularly good.
We have never read the Frog and Toad books, but somehow just by listening, he latched onto the plots of all the stories and loves them and asks repeatedly to have this two-disc set played for him while he quietly plays in his playroom.
Just a head's up for any parents who might be interested: either Toad or Frog at one point scolds the other, "shut up!" which led to a many-days-long issue with my boy here at the house. It has passed, but it was unpleasant while it lasted. Also at one point one of them says "he is trying to kill me!" and that word hasn't been introduced in our house yet. Not a big deal but if you're playing these stories for really little ones, it's something to be aware of.
Also for whatever reason, the story called The Lost Button rubs my kid the wrong way, HARD, and we have to be ready to skip ahead or else deal with a meltdown.
EDIT TO ADD: My son is now almost 4 1/2 and he still listens to this disc at least twice a week. He has outgrown his fear of The Lost Button. I highly highly recommend this CD.
EDIT JULY 2014: My boy is 5 1/2 and still this is on constant rotation. Several times a week, and now he also acts it out when it's not playing. A+++++.
Remembering how much I loved them, I looked for Frog and Toad and found them on Kindle; I've never been so delighted to get a book instantly. Immediately, I read it through, once, twice, three times, smiling all the while, memories of enjoying the stories in the past mixing with the joy of reading them again right now.
I could say that I bought this book to share with my future grandchildren, or for their moral message, or as a keepsake from my childhood. But the truth is that the stories of Frog and Toad are just as sweet and fun to me now as they were 40 years ago.
Don't ask which of these 5 stories is my favorite because truly they all are. And as always, I can't just read one story and put the book down. I have to read them all.
To put it simply, Frog and Toad Together makes me happy. And I imagine that 40 years from now, it still will.