Each of the original books contained five stories, and all of them are present in this wonderful compilation.
Author and illustrator Arnold Lobel first brought Frog and Toad to life in 1970. I remember reading their stories as a child, and was pleased to discover that two of the four books in the series were award honour books - for the Caldecott Medal and Newbery Award - and another won the Christopher Award.
Friends help each other out, so Toad looks after Frog when he is sick. A cup of tea and a story are just what he needs, but Toad does have some odd ways of trying to think of a story to tell!
Frog and Toad's adventures are simple stories about normal, everyday activities. They go for a walk, read, clean the house, grow a garden, and eat ice cream. They also have disagreements and get into scrapes.
One of my favourite stories is when Toad bakes cookies and he and Frog overindulge. They soon realise they should have exercised some willpower and acknowledge that 'Willpower is trying hard not to do something that you really want to do.' They practice doing just that, leaving the birds to appreciate the cookies instead.
Frog and Toad: The Complete Collection replicates the original books, but is hardcover and A4 in size.
A book that is just right for beginner readers, with subtle messages, minimal, large text on each page, and illustrations mostly in greens and browns, somehow appropriate to the amphibious creatures they depict.
Title: Frog and Toad: The Complete Collection
Author: Arnold Lobel
Illustrator: Arnold Lobel
Publisher: Harper Collins, $39.99
Publication Date: 2016
For ages: 4-8 year olds
Type: Picture book