In My Favorite Year, “The King Kaiser Comedy Cavalcade” is based on Sid Caesar “Your Show Of Shows” and the swashbuckling Alan Swann is based on movie legend Errol Flynn.
During his distinguished career Arnold Lobel wrote and/or illustrated over
70 books for children. 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). To his writing credit, he had a Newbery Honor Book --
Frog and Toad Together (1973).
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.
Though he was a born storyteller -- he began making up stories
extemporaneously to entertain his fellow second-graders in Schenectady, New
York, where he grew up in the care of his grandparents. Mr. Lobel called
himself a "lucky amateur" in terms of his writing. Viewing himself as a
professionally trained illustrator (he received a Bachelor of Fine Arts
degree from Pratt Institute), he said, "I know how to draw pictures. With
writing, I don't really know what I'm doing. It's very intuitive."
In addition to the Frog and Toad
books, Owl at Home, Mouse Tales, The Book of Pigericks, and many
other popular books he created, Mr. Lobel also illustrated other writers'
texts that captured his fancy. He viewed this as "something different and
challenging." Often his illustrations for those books showed a different
aspect of his personality and his artistic expertise, ranging from his
meticulous dinosaurs in Dinosaur Time
by Peggy Parish to his chilling pen-and-ink drawings in
Nightmares: Poems to Trouble Your Sleep
by Jack Prelutsky, about which Booklist
wrote, "Young readers will be amazed that the gentle Lobel of Frog and Toad
fame can be so comfortably diabolic."
In 1977 Mr. Lobel and his wife, Anita, a distinguished children's book
author and artist in her own right, collaborated on their first book,
How the Rooster Saved the Day,
chosen by School Library Journal as one of the Best Books of the Year, 1977.
They then collaborated on three more books,
A Treeful of Pigs, a 1979 ALA
Notable Book; On Market Street,
a 1982 Caldecott Honor Book; and The
Rose in My Garden, a 1984 Boston Globe/Horn Book Honor Book.
Arnold Lobel died in 1987.
Year With Frog And Toad, A
Year With Frog And Toad KIDS
Year With Frog And Toad TYA