|Frog and Toad Storybook Treasury by Arnold Lobel. Harper, 2014.|
Contains Frog and Toad are Friends (1970), Frog and Toad Together (1971), Frog and Toad All Year (1976), and Days With Frog and Toad (1979).
Little Sis performed in her first play without Mom or Big Sis this weekend! She played a Mole, Flower, and Fish in an adorable production of A Year with Frog and Toad. (The play was produced by a theatre with a strong kids' mentoring program, so the intimate cast was expanded to include as many people as possible.) The director happened to be her drama teacher from school. Her best friend was in it, too, which made it extra-special for her.
She worked very hard, and had a lot of fun. For a "break a leg" gift, I went to Barnes & Noble, looking for the 3-in-one collection of the Arnold Lobel books that they carried a few years ago. Instead, I found this larger format 4-in-one treasury, published by HarperCollins. It's a lovely collection for a great price. The larger format gave me an idea. I stocked her with pens and pencils, and for three evenings, she collected well-wishes and signatures from the entire cast and crew.
I think I may have read these at school as a child, but sadly, they were not a major part of my childhood. Mr. B is a different story. He said as each story unfolded on stage, he grew a bit misty, remembering the books he read as a boy. Now that I'm an adult, I love and appreciate Arnold Lobel so much. I'm so happy that my daughters are growing up with his stories.
The musical pulls from several stories found in all four books: "Spring," "The Garden," "The Letter," "A Swim," "Alone," "Cookies," "The Kite," "The Surprise," "Shivers," "Down the Hill," and "Christmas Eve." Little Sis has enjoyed going through the treasury, reading the original tales again, while humming the songs from the play.
We also revisited the old stop-motion animation version of Frog and Toad are Friends on YouTube.
As for the musical, you can listen to the original Broadway soundtrack on YouTube, iTunes, or Amazon streaming/MP3 or CD. I'll leave you with this sweet clip of Jay Goede and Mark Linn-Baker (Lobel's former son-in-law) performing "Alone" at the 2003 Tony Awards.