The best frog books

6 authors have picked their favorite books about frogs and why they recommend each book.

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Frog and Toad

By Arnold Lobel,

Book cover of Frog and Toad: A Complete Reading Collection

There may not be a simpler book that paints a more complex picture of friendship as Frog and Toad. The chapters would be the perfect length for bedtime reading if the two amphibians weren’t so engrossing that both you and your young one will keep deciding on “just one more” until you’ve read them all. Frog and Toad are clever, and naïve, and sweet, and always funny.

Who am I?

I came to write books for children somewhat by accident – my first Star Wars book, Darth Vader and Son, was intended to be for adults, but kids decided the book was really for them. One of the most satisfying things as an author has been hearing from parents whose children have them read the book to them over and over. I’ve loved being able to read to my sons, introducing them to books I loved at their age, and discovering others I haven’t read before. The books I love most to read with them, though, are the ones we both laugh out loud at. It’s one of the best feelings in the world.


I wrote...

Star Wars: A Vader Family Sithmas

By Jeffrey Brown,

Book cover of Star Wars: A Vader Family Sithmas

What is my book about?

Sithmas time is here, and the Vader family—little Luke, Leia, and the Dark Lord of the Sith—are busy trimming the tree, hanging their stockings, building stormtrooper snowmen, and listening for Santa’s tauntauns on the roof. Featuring Force-wielding snowball fights, gingerbread Death Stars, sledding with Han Solo, and much more, this charming family album of festivity in Jeffrey Brown’s New York Times bestselling Vader series is the stocking stuffer of the season for fans across the galaxy far, far away.

Frog and Toad Together

By Arnold Lobel,

Book cover of Frog and Toad Together

There is something so charming about these two best friends. I remember pouring over their quirky tales as a small child. I loved it so much! Arnold Lobel’s masterpiece is perfectly woven with immersive watercolor pictures and hilarious, yet simple text, that even our littlest readers can grasp. It introduces the concept of personality vividly in the differences between Frog and Toad, and all in all, is one of the best ever for capturing a young imagination.


Who am I?

I came into the world telling stories. From the age of four you could often find me surrounded by a little cluster of friends, amusing them with a story I was spinning on the spot. When I was nine, I began telling my sisters about a Martian who was living on Earth and who loved his comfy chairs. This Martian eventually became Alou, and it has been such a joy to share his world through my picture book Alou: The Martian Agent and its sequels. One thing I’m passionate about is sparking the potent imagination bottled up inside all our little ones and I hope my books can encourage that. 


I wrote...

Alou: The Martian Agent

By Charline Davis,

Book cover of Alou: The Martian Agent

What is my book about?

Alou is a Martian agent sent to earth. He loves learning about his new home and meeting the people who live there. Explore earth with him for the first time as this lovable Martian takes you around the globe! 

This book encourages children’s natural inquisitive curiosity!

This book is available directly from the author on their website.

Haven Jacobs Saves the Planet

By Barbara Dee,

Book cover of Haven Jacobs Saves the Planet

Knowing they’ll be the ones to experience the brunt of climate change’s consequences, young activists have become increasingly vocal as they demand action. Haven Jacobs Saves the Planet provides a close-to-home example of how students can get involved in climate activism as they follow in her discovery of the polluted river near her home. Barbara Dee’s novels take on challenging issues while keeping the characters real and full of heart, and her latest is no exception. This book will inspire young climate activists to take action and force them to consider the challenges—for their community, their family, and their friendships—that changing the world can bring.


Who am I?

I am an author and educator with a passion for justice. I once finished teaching a lesson on peaceful protest thirty minutes before the students at my middle school led a campus-wide walkout. Unlike me, who didn’t attend my first march until I was thirty, they were ready to speak up, following in the steps of the high schoolers from Parkland and the activists on Instagram. Born into the era of the Arab Spring, #MeToo, and Black Lives Matter, they saw the status quo as ripe for the challenge, their voices the anvil to topple it all. The books in this list will be inspiration for any young reader with this same passion for change.


I wrote...

Margie Kelly Breaks the Dress Code

By Bridget Farr,

Book cover of Margie Kelly Breaks the Dress Code

What is my book about?

With the right first-day-of-school outfit and her best friend, Daniela, by her side, Margie Kelly expected the first day of sixth grade to be perfect. It wasn’t.

Dress-coded during her first class, Margie soon sees sexism everywhere at her school and begins her own campaign to end it. But as Margie moves forward with her plans, she’s confronted with her own privilege and the knowledge that change requires more than a sign and an Instagram hashtag.

Frog and Toad Are Friends

By Arnold Lobel,

Book cover of Frog and Toad Are Friends

I also feel all warm and glowy when I read Frog and Toad are Friends! Toad is a bit of a grump, it’s true. But Frog is normal as normal can be and a wonderful example of how great friends act. He loves Toad as only a best friend can, and he would do anything for him. My favorite of the five chapters is “The Letter.” By secretly writing a letter to Toad, Frog turns Toad’s sad waiting-for-a-letter time into the best part of the day. It is, truly, what friendship is all about. 


Who am I?

I hold a Master of Fine Arts in Writing for Children and Young Adults. In addition to the usual two-year program, I studied an extra semester, where I read all the best children’s books about friendship. I wanted to learn how the great authors such as A. A. Milne, James Marshall, and Arnold Lobel wrote stories full of so much heart and humor. My love of friendship stories burgeoned from there. And now, it’s with great delight that I offer you my Best Children’s Books About Friendship—and, of course, my very own friendship story, Big Bear and Little Fish.  


I wrote...

Big Bear and Little Fish

By Sandra Nickel, Il Sung Na (illustrator),

Book cover of Big Bear and Little Fish

What is my book about?

Bear Loves Being Big. At the carnival, she wants to win a teddy bear as big as she is. Instead, she wins a fish. A very little fish. Bear doesn’t quite know what to do. She worries and makes lots of assumptions. But with the help of Fish, Bear learns that although she and Fish are different, they are also a little the same.

Gentle, accessible prose by Sandra Nickel is paired with richly textured illustrations by Il Sung Na in this sweet story about accepting others for who they are.

Froggy's Sleepover

By Jonathan London, Frank Remkiewicz (illustrator),

Book cover of Froggy's Sleepover

First off, I love Jonathan London’s illustration style. Froggy is a goofy, energetic animal character with his own series. In this story, he’s fired up and packing for a sleepover at Max’s house. But bedtime is different at Max’s, where Froggy’s comfy routine is upended. When Max starts telling ghost stories, Froggy wants to go home. And so, they decide to sleep over at Froggy’s instead. Then it’s Max who feels out of place and wants to go home. So, it’s back to Max’s. Then back and forth between houses until morning, when, finally, they fall asleep at Max’s. Sometimes it’s uncomfortable to be away from home--a common feeling told with humor.


Who am I?

One of my favorite childhood memories is of kindergarten painting time. The teacher let us use thick tempera paint on big sheets of paper and actual easels! My abstract paintings have been in the Whitney Museum of American Art. But for the last 17 years, I’ve been painting for preschoolers and kindergarteners. My own stories are often inspired by my children and tend to be about leaving the comfort of home for the first time. I’m the author and illustrator of Darcy's First Sleepover, Pearl Goes to Preschool, The Artist and the King, and Lily’s Cat Mask which received a Kirkus starred review and was added to Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. My next book, Grandpa and Jake, will be out in March of 2022.


I wrote...

Darcy's First Sleepover

By Julie Fortenberry,

Book cover of Darcy's First Sleepover

What is my book about?

Description from the publisher: Every night at home, Darcy brushes her teeth with strawberry toothpaste; she snuggles in bed with Little Cat, and she falls asleep to the sound of her dad washing the dishes. But tonight, Darcy is having her very first sleepover! Even though it’s at her cousin Kayla’s house, it still feels a little daunting. Kayla has peppermint toothpaste, a baby bear named Charlotte, and howling winds outside her window. Darcy misses her dad and her own cozy bedroom. Should she ask her aunt to take her home?

This rewarding tale celebrates the excitement of new experiences and the power of quiet growth. Backmatter also included shedding light on steps parents can take when helping kids prepare for their first sleepover!

I Don't Want to Be a Frog

By Dev Petty, Mike Boldt (illustrator),

Book cover of I Don't Want to Be a Frog

I Don’t Want to be a Frog is a hilarious conversation between a young frog and his dad. When the young frog wants to be a cat, rabbit, pig, owl, or really anything but a frog, it’s up to his dad to stay calm and remind him why it’s so great being exactly who he is. I love that the dad is so matter-of-fact. That he never loses patience, and he never tells his son to just stop. True dad love is sometimes as simple as being there and answering questions. Oh, and the awesome ending will crack you up! Such a fun book.


Who am I?

As a picture book author and mom, I am constantly inspired by the world around me. I love watching my children, and I love how they adore their dad and he adores them in return. So many of my stories have been inspired by their interactions. While I am no expert on fatherhood, I have been fortunate to have had a loving dad who played “Monster in the Middle,” who took us for rides on his motorcycle, and reminded us that we could accomplish anything we put our mind to. I love books that remind us of the power of a loving father-child relationship and hope you, too, will be lifted by these joyful stories.


I wrote...

Help Wanted, Must Love Books

By Janet Sumner Johnson, Courtney Dawson (illustrator),

Book cover of Help Wanted, Must Love Books

What is my book about?

Shailey loves bedtime, especially reading with her dad. But her dad starts a new job, and it gets in the way of their bedtime routine. So Shailey takes action! She fires her dad, posts a Help Wanted sign, and starts interviews immediately. She is thrilled when her favorite characters from fairytales line up to apply. But Sleeping Beauty can't stay awake, the Gingerbread Man steals her book, and Snow White brings along her whole team.

Shailey is running out of options. Is bedtime ruined forever?

Forest Has a Song

By Amy Ludwig Vanderwater, Robbin Gourley (illustrator),

Book cover of Forest Has a Song: Poems

Amy has a way of making every poem feel personal, not just in the way the reader connects with the words, but in the way the subjects are presented. The poems are intimate, friendly, surprising, and comforting, whether they are written from a third-person perspective or from the point of view of the animals themselves. Beautiful to read, and beautiful to look at, readers will never look at the forest the same way again.


Who am I?

Ever since my parents gave me a copy of Dorothy Aldis’ The Secret Place and Other Poems, I have enjoyed a lifelong love of poetry. Now, as a traditionally-published children’s author, I have had numerous books and poems published over the years, including books that began as poems, like Flashlight Night (Astra Young Readers, 2017) and Once Upon Another Time (Beaming Books, 2021). My poems can be found in various anthologies including The National Geographic Book of Nature Poetry (National Geographic Children's Books, 2015).


I wrote...

Flashlight Night

By Matt Forrest Esenwine, Fred Koehler (illustrator),

Book cover of Flashlight Night

What is my book about?

Flashlight Night is an ode to the power of imagination and the wonder of books. Three children use a flashlight to light a path around their backyard at night; in the flashlight’s beam another world looms. Our heroes encounter spooky woods, a fearsome tiger, a time-forgotten tomb, an Egyptian god, a sword-fighting pirate, and a giant squid. With ingenuity, they vanquish all, then return to their treehouse—braver, closer, and wiser than before—to read the books that inspired their adventure.

Slouch Witch

By Helen Harper,

Book cover of Slouch Witch

I’ve enjoyed all of Helen Harper’s books that I’ve read (they are all quite humorous) but I especially loved her Lazy Girl’s Guide. Slouch Witch introduces us to a powerful witch who was kicked out of magic school due to being blamed for someone else’s mistake. Now she’s dedicated to being as lazy and shiftless as possible to stay out of trouble and keep herself away from using her magic. Oh, and she has a cat who may or may not know everything that is going on, and communicates in one-word pronouncements that all cat owners can relate to. There’s a cute romance and fun book-by-book adventures to follow.


Who am I?

As the author of 10+ books in my snark-filled and magical Love, Lies, and Hocus Pocus universe, I’ve had plenty of practice mixing humor and urban fantasy. I’m also addicted to British humor like Monty Python and Black Books. Sir Edgar Allan Kipling, the magical talking cat in my books is my main outlet for humor with his feline aphorisms like “pride is unbecoming to humans, only cats and dragons do it justice,” and “if you wanted sympathy, you should have adopted a dog.” It has been my joy to seek out the snort-laugh-worthiest novels, learn from them, and produce laugh-out-loud adventures for my own wonderful readers.


I wrote...

Love, Lies, and Hocus Pocus Beginnings

By Lydia Sherrer,

Book cover of Love, Lies, and Hocus Pocus Beginnings

What is my book about?

Wizard and archivist Lily Singer is having a bad day. Her troublemaking friend Sebastian Blackwell has dragged her into one of his “professional witch” jobs again. That would be business as usual in the magical underworld, except that, unlike Sebastian, Lily avoids adventure like most people would avoid the plague. Avoidance may not work this time, though, because adventure is coming for Lily whether she likes it or not, complete with angels, demons, fae, and a talking cat.

Come enjoy shenanigans galore with the first installment of this snarky magical adventure.

The Ambiguous Frog

By Marcello Pera,

Book cover of The Ambiguous Frog: The Galvani-Volta Controversy on Animal Electricity

Electricity was by far the most popular science of the Enlightenment – ‘an Entertainment for Angels’, as one fictional young woman enthused. Marcello Pera’s slim book is delightfully written, but also philosophically profound. It surveys with great humour the diverse array of electrical devices, tricks and performances that were created as money-spinners in Europe’s rapidly commercialising society. But it also picks apart the confrontation between electricity’s two Italian figureheads: Luigi Galvani (who made frogs’ legs twitch) and Alessandro Volta (the Napoleonic devotee who introduced current electricity). These debates were not only about who was right, but also about how to win over converts and eliminate the opposition.


Who am I?

I’m an Emeritus Fellow of Clare College, Cambridge, and I’ve written several popular books as well as featuring in TV/radio programmes such as In Our Time and Start the Week (BBC). I love the challenge of explaining to general audiences why the history of science is such an exciting and important subject – far more difficult than writing an academic paper. I believe that studying the past is crucial for understanding how we’ve reached the present – and the whole point of doing that is to improve the future. My underlying preoccupations involve exploring how and why western science has developed over the last few centuries to become the dominant (and male-dominated) culture throughout the world.


I wrote...

Life after Gravity: Isaac Newton's London Career

By Patricia Fara,

Book cover of Life after Gravity: Isaac Newton's London Career

What is my book about?

The story of Isaac Newton's decades in London as an ambitious cosmopolitan gentleman, President of London's Royal Society, Master of the Mint, and investor in the slave trade. Isaac Newton is celebrated throughout the world as a great scientific genius who conceived the theory of gravity. But in his early fifties, he abandoned his life as a reclusive university scholar to spend three decades in London, a long period of metropolitan activity that is often overlooked. Enmeshed in Enlightenment politics and social affairs, Newton participated in the linked spheres of early science and imperialist capitalism. Instead of the quiet cloisters and dark libraries of Cambridge's all-male world, he now moved in fashionable London society, which was characterized by patronage relationships, sexual intrigues, and ruthless ambition.


When Green Becomes Tomatoes

By Julie Fogliano, Julie Morstad (illustrator),

Book cover of When Green Becomes Tomatoes: Poems for All Seasons

This is a very unique and beautiful book, all the way through. The poems are uniquely written. They present a unique perspective on their subjects. And the entire book is structured to read almost as diary entries – quite unique! Julie’s concept and execution are brilliant, with unusual wordplay and imagery (in springtime, “rushing daffodils / wished they had waited” and birds poke “a tiny hole / through the edge of winter”) and the varying tone of her poems – from joyful to contemplative to eager – keeps the collection fresh and keeps the pages turning. 


Who am I?

Ever since my parents gave me a copy of Dorothy Aldis’ The Secret Place and Other Poems, I have enjoyed a lifelong love of poetry. Now, as a traditionally-published children’s author, I have had numerous books and poems published over the years, including books that began as poems, like Flashlight Night (Astra Young Readers, 2017) and Once Upon Another Time (Beaming Books, 2021). My poems can be found in various anthologies including The National Geographic Book of Nature Poetry (National Geographic Children's Books, 2015).


I wrote...

Flashlight Night

By Matt Forrest Esenwine, Fred Koehler (illustrator),

Book cover of Flashlight Night

What is my book about?

Flashlight Night is an ode to the power of imagination and the wonder of books. Three children use a flashlight to light a path around their backyard at night; in the flashlight’s beam another world looms. Our heroes encounter spooky woods, a fearsome tiger, a time-forgotten tomb, an Egyptian god, a sword-fighting pirate, and a giant squid. With ingenuity, they vanquish all, then return to their treehouse—braver, closer, and wiser than before—to read the books that inspired their adventure.

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