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The Eric Carle Museum
of Picture Book Art
  • 125 West Bay Road
  • Amherst, MA 01002

Hours

TEMPORARILY CLOSED

  • Tuesday- Friday10 am - 4 pm
  • Saturday 10am – 5pm
  • Sunday 12 pm - 5 pm

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Picture Books We Love

A Letter of Friendship and Hope

Hello, It’s Eliza from The Carle Bookshop. In celebration of Arnold Lobel’s upcoming birthday next week and this week’s Letter theme, I just had to share one of my favorite Frog and Toad stories about mail, friendship and hope - all things we sure can use right now!

“What is the matter, Toad? You are looking sad.” 

“Yes,” said Toad. “This is my sad time of day. It is the time when I wait for the mail to come. It always makes me unhappy.” 

“Why is that?” asked Frog. 

“Because I never get any mail.”

With such few words and evocative illustrations, Arnold Lobel instantly captures the sadness and loneliness of waiting for something that seems like it may never come in “The Letter”, from Frog and Toad Are Friends (Harper Collins, 1970). In this challenging time of isolation and impatience, Frog and Toad remind us of the incredible bolstering impact of thoughtfulness and friendship.

A closed mailbox with the name TOAD on the side.

After hearing how sad Toad feels about not receiving any mail, Frog hurries home to write his friend a letter. He asks Snail to deliver the letter straight to Toad’s mailbox and then rushes back to Toad’s to wait with him for its arrival. But the wait for Snail and Toad’s continued sadness turns out to be too much for Frog to bear and he finally shares his secret as well as the entire contents of the letter.  The fact that there IS a letter coming (and what a sweet letter at that!) is enough to bolster Frog’s spirits and the two happily wait for the mail together. 

Frog and Toad stand together while Toad takes a letter from Snail.

In the deeply touching and heartwarming way that Arnold Lobel always does so well, he creates a love letter to friendship, to slowness and patience, and ultimately to hope. We’re reminded to think of our loved ones, to do small things (even when they don’t go quite as planned!) to lift their spirits and remind them that we care. So, write that letter. Send it. It’s easier to wait when you can have hope together.

 

Frog sits with his arm around Toad on Toad?s doorstep.

 

 

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