Oldie But Goodie

screen-shot-2016-10-09-at-12-59-38-pmWhile Grandma and Grandpa were visiting last week, Larrabee pulled an old favorite off the bookshelf: Sam and the Firefly by P.D. Eastman.

It’s an early reader, first published in 1958, about an owl (Sam) and a firefly (Gus) who become nocturnal playmates and friends. It was one of my brother’s favorite read-aloud books and one of my boys’ frequent choices as well.

This time Larrabee read it to Grandma. I’m not sure he remembered it. But all of the adults sure did. Mom, Dad, Mark, and I could recite whole pages by heart. “Look out!” we used to say. “The Hot Dog Man is MAD!”

As a read-aloud, this book is a good one for talking about words–and about the difference between bad tricks and good tricks. It also makes a good early reader because it tells a long, satisfying story with simple words and lots of pictures.

Larrabee mainly reads longer books now, but I’m glad we still have a chance to revisit some old favorites every now and then.


A Road Trip with Frog and Toad

Frog and Toad
We saw an excellent production of A Year with Frog and Toad at UCSC.

A summer car trip is the perfect time to break out the Frog and Toad soundtrack! The boys groan, but by the time we get to “Getta Loada Toad,” they’re singing along too.

A Year with Frog and Toad is a musical based on Arnold Lobel’s charming Frog and Toad books. It follows good friends, Frog and Toad, through each season’s adventures–planting seeds, swimming, raking leaves, and sledding. And it’s full of catchy songs.

Screen Shot 2016-07-26 at 11.50.25 AMI’m also a big fan of the books. Blaine and Larrabee both loved them. Each of the four books in the series contains five stories that are just right for beginning readers. I admire an author who can draw memorable characters and tell a satisfying story with a few simple words.

Blowing out candles again
Larrabee had a Frog and Toad-themed 3rd birthday party with lots of cookies!

The musical does a good job of capturing the magic of the books. “Cookies” and “Shivers” are two of my favorite stories and songs. I only wish the musical included “A Lost Button.”

Our road trip tradition has one additional benefit. Now the songs bring back memories not only of the books and the musical but of many previous trips listening to A Year with Frog and Toad.