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How the Frog and Toad Children's Series Celebrates Same-Sex Love

How the Frog and Toad Children's Series Celebrates Same-Sex Love

frog and toad
Amazon

Arnold Lobel came out to his family four years after he published the first book in the series, Frog and Toad.

It turns out that a classic children's storybook friendship may have been an early ode to same-sex love.

Yesterday, The New Yorker covered the life and stories of Arnold Lobel, the author and illustrator responsible for the children's book series, Frog and Toad.

The books cover the adventures and mishaps of a frog and a toad, conveniently named Frog and Toad. The two characters are presented as best friends, but The New Yorker's interview with Lobel's daughter, Adrianne Lobel, revealed a new perspective on the amphibious relationship.

"[Frog and Toad are] "of the same sex, and they love each other," Lobel told The New Yorker. "It was quite ahead of its time in that respect."

In 1974, four years after the first book in the series, Frog and Toad Are Friends was published, Arnold Lobel came out to his family as gay.

"I think Frog and Toad really was the beginning of him coming out," Lobel explained.

Lobel died in 1987 at age 54, an early victim of AIDS. His children's books still live on, perhaps giving children an early look at two same-sex characters who love each other and live together happily.

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