Five carefully themed stories present slavish adherence to plans, foolish impatience with Nature, the nature of will power, integrity in bravery, and loss of friends through one-up-man-ship.
Each of the five stories in this little anthology present a point about the vagaries of individual behavior that a child can understand. Frog and/or Toad each make some wrongful judgment that leads to a smarter understanding. Parents can ask their children what that approach might be. The stories do not raise much tension, yet they are still interesting in a way that Winnie the Pooh is not.
These five stories present: 1) timely productiveness, 2) persistent effort, 3) academic detachment, 4) a deception to correct an error, and 5) the nature of jumping to conclusions.
This collection of Frog and Toad fables are as good as ever, but with two small flaws. We see Toad learn the benefit of caring for his home in a timely manner; that persistent effort finally flies their kite (though shouting appears to be a factor); that scary stories encourage a detached perspective; that a deception (a flaw) could improve the fit of Toad's birthday gift; and, that Toad jumped to faulty conclusions when he learned Frog wanted to be alone.
Five short stories showing rather gentle aspects of friendship, between Frog and Toad
This Frog and Toad anthology are a bit more subtle than others: Frog helps Toad see the world with a new perspective; they help each other endure illness; Toad demonstrates appreciation for Frog's help during an unnecessary annoyance; Toad handles his friend's indiscretion without rancor; and, Frog helps Toad feel 'visible' as a person. "Friends" shows readers some of the sensible, non sacrificial, elements of personal justice that make friendship a value.
Frog and Toad's friendship copes with winter sledding, spring misunderstandings, summer lessons, failed good intentions, and worry over a late friend at Christmas.
Though less purposeful than usual, these Lobel stories still show character and friendship, in a seasonal context. While winter sledding at Frog's insistence Toad finally has enough, and heads home. Frog tells Toad how he misconstrued "spring is round the corner". In summer Frog is patient when Toad has trouble with melting ice cream. In autumn each tries to secretly help the other but fall winds scatter their good intentions. At Christmas, Toad worries when Frog is late.