I was at a friend’s house the other day and her first grader was reading Arnold Lobel’s “Mouse Tales.” (Ages 4 – 8 ) I couldn’t help but be reminded how enchanting I find both Mr. Lobel’s stories and illustrations. As any parent can tell you, there are a ton of “learn-to-read” books out there, but for my money you just can’t go wrong with these timeless, quaint, engaging stories.
So who was this Lobel guy, you ask? Hey, that’s what I’m here for!
Born in 1933, Arnold Lobel wrote and/or illustrated over 70 books for children during his distinguished career. To his illustrating credit, he had a Caldecott Medal book — Fables (1981) — and two Caldecott Honor Books-his own Frog and Toad are Friends (1971) and Hildilid’s Night by Cheli Duran Ryan (1972). He has a Caldecott Honor for Frog and Toad Together.
Mr. Lobel passed away in 1987, but to his greatest credit, he had a following of literally millions of young children with whom he shared the warmth and humor of his unpretentious vision of life.
Here are a few excellent choices if you have a book baby who’s just getting the hang of this whole reading thing. But there are many more to choose from as well.