Arnold Lobel’s <i>Frog and Toad Together</i> as a Primer for Critical Literacy

Teya Rosenberg

in The Oxford Handbook of Children's Literature

Published in print March 2011 | ISBN: 9780195379785
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 Arnold Lobel’s Frog and Toad Together as a Primer for Critical Literacy

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This article argues that the Frog and Toad books function as useful literary “primers,” not just for young children, but for college students as well. It also shows that Frog and Toad Together (1972) by Arnold Lobel provides an accessible introduction to critical reading practices and multiple theoretical paradigms. Following the practice of formalism, and particularly of New Criticism, the starting point for analyzing Frog and Toad Together is to look closely at how literary elements convey unity and complexities. One of its complexities is that nearly all the descriptive details, whether about setting or character, come from the visual text. The effect on Frog shows the problematic nature of Toad's assertion of superiority. The ideological constructions of culture and society about children often block deeper critical thought about children's literature.

Keywords: Frog and Toad; Arnold Lobel; literary primers; formalism; New Criticism; superiority

Article.  9856 words. 

Subjects: Literature ; Children's Literature Studies ; Literary Theory and Cultural Studies

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