Books by Arnold Lobel

THE TURNAROUND WIND by Arnold Lobel
Released: July 1, 1988

"The mastery of color and design is recognizably Lobel's, and larger collections will certainly want to include this example; but, sadly, children will find it puzzling and somber in tone."
First cataloguing a series of characters in 20 vignettes, most depicting pairs (an organ grinder and his monkey; the mayor and his wife)—although there are other special relationships (an artist with his paints; a thief looking for things to steal)—Lobel then includes the lot in a single double-spread where the dark, angry-looking wind rushes in to blow everyone awry. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 20, 1986

"This book's beauty and wit will extend its use far beyond the nursery, both as a treasury of verse and a treasure chest of Lobel's art."
This successor in format to The Random House Book of Poetry equals that title in its capacity as a basic work for any child's book collection and surpasses it as a worthy example of its illustrator's work. Read full book review >
THE ROSE IN MY GARDEN by Arnold Lobel
Released: April 18, 1984

"An old English floral design, in effect, come to exuberant life."
A horticultural House That Jack Built—with the infectiousness of a nursery rhyme, an abundance of child-wise visual detail, a rousing return-to-square-one climax. Read full book review >
THE BOOK OF PIGERICKS by Arnold Lobel
Released: May 1, 1983

"For Lobel, a silk purse would be child's play."
Inventing 38 fresh limericks is a feat in itself, with not a dud in the lot and more than a fair share of hilarity; and these are held together by a delightful cast of sumptuously dressed pigs and illustrated with Lobel's special blend of delectable, decorous absurdity. Read full book review >
MING LO MOVES THE MOUNTAIN by Arnold Lobel
Released: April 12, 1982

"The anecdote doesn't make you laugh like an earthier, folk-type silly tale would, but there's a nice touch of drollery, in keeping with the straight-faced telling, in Lobel's depiction of the wise man, who becomes more languid with each visit, and more encased in a smokescreen of swirls from his own pipe."
A noodle story with an Oriental setting, this is something like the old joke about Mohammed going to the mountain. Read full book review >
UNCLE ELEPHANT by Arnold Lobel
Released: Sept. 9, 1981

"A model uncle and a warming relationship, projected with a resonance that invites dwelling on, and re-reading."
Uncle Elephant has "more wrinkles than a tree has leaves" (or, as he goes on, than a beach has sand or the sky Stars), and he "feels the creaks" when out walking. Read full book review >
ON MARKET STREET by Arnold Lobel
Released: April 6, 1981

An almost wordless alphabet book that is simple, original, gimmick-free, and bursting with the surprise and delight to be found on a stroll along Market Street. Read full book review >
FABLES by Arnold Lobel
Released: Aug. 20, 1980

"All of which serves to confirm Lobel's moral for his story of 'The Frogs at the Rainbow's End': 'The highest hopes may lead to the greatest disappointments."
One might expect that the creator of Frog and Toad could, if he chose, give us fables with some subtlety and psychological depth. Read full book review >
DAYS WITH FROG AND TOAD by Arnold Lobel
Released: Oct. 3, 1979

"EWSLUGp1976 the relationship has settled into a comfortable, conflict-free pattern; but the complementary pair continues to delight and vulnerable Toad to invite sympathetic recognition."
The glowing friendship of Frog and Toad continues, with Frog as the wiser, supportive partner easing Toad through his small frustrations and uncertainties. Read full book review >
FROG AND TOAD ARE FRIENDS by Arnold Lobel
Released: Aug. 1, 1979

"Imperfect friendship or it wouldn't be true—and most perfectly expressed in their faces."
A leggy green frog and a squat green toad do for friendship something of what Little Bear does for kinship. Read full book review >
A TREEFUL OF PIGS by Arnold Lobel
Released: April 2, 1979

The lazy farmer thinks he's safe when he promises to help his wife with the farm work "on the day that pigs grow in trees like apples," but she outwits him at this and every turn—and Anita Lobel makes the treeful of happy, apple-chomping, rope-harnessed pigs a properly silly sight. Read full book review >
GRASSHOPPER ON THE ROAD by Arnold Lobel
Released: Oct. 4, 1978

"You can trust Lobel to provide beginning readers with just a little more thought food than meets the eye—while just as gently pleasing the eye with his soft-toned, harmonious illustrations."
A young fellow going down the road and running into a succession of sillies is a common folklore theme, but this isn't just another variation. Read full book review >
Released: April 3, 1978

"And all their foibles, talents, and comical conditions are keynoted with style and assurance in Lobel's solid little figures—as splendid in pastel rags (or, in one case, sprouting grass) as in 18th-century finery."
Lobel delights with his selections as much as his illustrations in these 35 lesserknown folk rhymes, all with human subjects. Read full book review >
Released: March 28, 1977

"It's not the look most would envision for the story's simple humor, but it makes a splendid show, and this wily rooster, in all his golden glory, is a natural performer."
Lobel is in direct touch with the preschool funnybone in this folklike tale of a robber who creeps at night into a barn, aiming to make off with the rooster. Read full book review >
MOUSE SOUP by Arnold Lobel
illustrated by Arnold Lobel
Released: March 1, 1977

"Small but satisfying, and all informed with Lobel's own gentle resonance."
'Ah!' said the weasel. 'I am going to make mouse soup.' 'Oh!' said the mouse. 'I am going to be mouse soup.'" But wait—"Mouse soup must be mixed with stories to make it taste really good," he announces from the pot. Read full book review >
FROG AND TOAD ALL YEAR by Arnold Lobel
Released: Aug. 1, 1976

"We miss some of the resonant psychological heft of this pair's previous experiences, but Frog and Toad can still transform the most ordinary seasonal activities into celebrations."
Lobel's peerless, though much imitated, animal comrades do a little borrowing of their own here when Frog goes around the corner to look for spring, recalling Clifton's Boy Who Didn't Believe in Spring (1973); in this case we can't consider Lobel's more conventional rustic setting an improvement, but Frog does make the search his own. Read full book review >
OWL AT HOME by Arnold Lobel
Kirkus Star
illustrated by Arnold Lobel
Released: Oct. 1, 1975

"Nor will readers, for to add to the solo cast would clearly shatter the poignant perfection of Owl alone."
What seems at first to be the winter of Owl's discontent proves in the end, like all true melancholy, to have its sweet and ultimately contenting facets. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 1, 1974

"The pictures, with fine black lines shading the subdued colors, glow with the quiet affection old Bouse has for his possessions and the significance he attaches to them."
There was an old man/Who was named Bellwood Bouse./He loved all the things/In his very large house"—and so one day he invites all of his furniture, pots, etc. (there's a page-long rhymed list) out into the sun and fresh air. Read full book review >
MOUSE TALES by Arnold Lobel
illustrated by Arnold Lobel
Released: Sept. 27, 1972

"Once again Lobel demonstrates that a beginning reader can be gentle in humor, resourceful with limited vocabulary, and even subtle in simplicity."
In quietly animated pink-toned pictures and resonantly simple words, Papa mouse puts his seven sons to sleep with seven bedtime stories. Read full book review >
FROG AND TOAD TOGETHER by Arnold Lobel
Released: April 26, 1972

"Toad's alarm at this point and his relief on waking up to find that Frog is still there and 'his own right size' ends the beautifully handled episode on a note of enlarged affirmation."
Five more wise and wonderful stories to reaffirm the happy truth that Frog and Toad Are Friends. Read full book review >
ON THE DAY PETER STUYVESANT SAILED INTO TOWN by Arnold Lobel
Released: Oct. 13, 1971

"Droll, too."
Puffed-up, peg-legged, hawk-nosed Peter Stuyvesant, a feather in his wide-brimmed hat, a buckle on his boot, could be the Captain of the Pinafore the way he self-asserts: he makes a great, grand entrance and Lobel makes it rhyme. Read full book review >
SMALL PIG by Arnold Lobel
Kirkus Star
illustrated by Arnold Lobel
Released: March 12, 1969

"Indeed, this little pig is a laugh all the way to his new, never-to-be-mopped-up mud puddle."
His pigpen spruced up by the farmer's wife and his good, soft mud gone, the small pig "is more than sorry. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 15, 1968

"Comical indeed, and far more effective than Galdone."
Old Mother Hubbard aright, two pictures per stanza, one picture per page: on the left she's gone "to buy him some bread," on the right "the poor dog was dead"—and so on through a scene that's funny in itself for each foray and each return. Read full book review >
THE GREAT BLUENESS AND OTHER PREDICAMENTS by Arnold Lobel
Released: Oct. 9, 1968

"Primarily coloring the world in shades of meaning that show and tell at the same time."
Color wheel and dealing. Read full book review >
MARTHA THE MOVIE MOUSE by Arnold Lobel
Released: Aug. 17, 1966

"She goes from waif mouse to theater mouse to homeless mouse to theatre mouse-returned before her big moment springs down as surely as a cheese loaded trap."
Once there was the mouse who rushed into the prompter's box at the Met to lead the singers.... Read full book review >
BEARS OF THE AIR by Arnold Lobel
Released: Aug. 1, 1965

"The brown on brown coloring of the illustrations is visually bland, but a second glance shows up some attractive details, like the Tiffany glass decorations in the bears' cozy cave."
This is what a good bear should do: go for walks, take naps, catch fish, climb up and down trees. Read full book review >
GIANT JOHN by Arnold Lobel
Released: Aug. 1, 1964

"Big, happy pictures all in three colors and an easy story to show, tell and laugh at."
Arnold Lobel's Giant John has good-natured, not-too-bright features and a lumsy gentleness nice to find in a giant. Read full book review >
LUCILLE by Arnold Lobel
Released: March 11, 1964

"The colorful, spontaneous art work combines with the very simple text — words are repeated but not monotonously — to make a forthright belly-laugher for first year readers."
The author-illustrator of the amusing Mister Muster books (the last was A Holiday for Mr. Muster, 1963, p. 595, J-197) has created a glum plowhorse, Lucille, who is depressed when she sees herself as a "dull and dirty" creature. Read full book review >
A HOLIDAY FOR MISTER MUSTER by Arnold Lobel
Released: Sept. 11, 1963

"The black-eyed, round animals and the bald little man are cleverly depicted in the one color pictures in a book which is low pressured all the way."
Muster and menagerie (A Zoo For Mister Muster, 1962, p. 105, J-33) are back, meandering to the seashore for a vacation. Read full book review >
PRINCE BERTRAM THE BAD by Arnold Lobel
Released: March 13, 1963

"Arnold Lobel's hilarious illustrations (two colors) allow for no suppression of giggles among children and adults alike."
A riotous twist on the good-little-prince fairy tales, this tells of an incorrigible member of the royal family who in no uncertain terms was a regular monster. Read full book review >
A ZOO FOR MISTER MUSTER by Arnold Lobel
Released: March 14, 1962

"Only when Mister Muster is made Assistant Zoo Keeper do the animals agree to return."
All the animals in the zoo adored Mister Muster, their devoted and favorite visitor. Read full book review >