THE RHYMES AND RUNES OF THE TOAD by Susan Fromberg Schaeffer


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A wonderfully appealing poetry book by the author of Granite Lady, Falling, and Anya. All the poems are about that suddenly wondrous creature, the toad, whose once-beautiful voice was stolen by a princess known as Eve, who was angry when toad left her to return to his moss and rocks. His twin brother loved a tree and when he, too, left, the first toad planted his tongue, which turned into grass. Toads have wrinkled skin because the original one (who didn't even have a shape) fell in love with the sun. And earthquakes and fires and tides exist because the world rests on the back of a toad, and toads, ""as everyone knows,"" like to jump around. These ""rhymes"" do not actually rhyme, though they give the impression of so doing, in two and three and four-line verses written with the simplicity and magic of the early Yeats. There are stories, too, about these unhappy creatures who seek ""the edge of things"" in order to be kings, and find there a ""forest where the raccoon was attacking the cat, and the fisherman hoisting a fish, lifting the lid of his basket, and the chipmunk running into the road, and under a great, spinning wheel."" Both adults and youngsters should love the black-and-white drawings by Sebastian Fleuret that illustrate this wise and spare book about a universe here made fresh and new.

Pub Date: Oct. 23rd, 1975
Publisher: Macmillan