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Frog and Toad's 50th Anniversay Exhibit in Tachikawa

Posted on February 17, 2021

If you grew up with Arnold Lobel’s Frog and Toad as your friends, hop on over to the PLAY! Museum in Tachikawa for the 50th anniversary Arnold Lobel “Alone Together” exhibit. From January 9th through March 28th, over 200 original pieces of Lobel’s work will be on display.

photo: @makkon712

photo: @reikishitsu0425

In just 54 short years, Lobel blessed us with over 100 stories, and we now have the opportunity to take a behind-the-scenes look at original sketches, drafts, and even an animation of Frog and Toad by Kunio Kato.

photo: @___natchan

photo: @yutakurin

photo: @nxnx._.73

In just four books, Lobel created a legacy for Frog and Toad that continues to live on beyond his death. If you grew up reading them in English, perhaps enjoy them in Japanese and experience the stories for the first time all over again.  

photo: @yutakurin

Then Frog and Toad went out onto the front porch to wait for the mail. They sat there, feeling happy together. They waited four days,but Snail finally got to Toad’s house and gave him the letter from Frog.

photo: @makkon712

This sketch is from the story “The Letter” in “Frog and Toad are Friends,” where we can see Toad receiving the letter from Frog. If you remember, Frog’s note reads “Dear Toad, I am glad that you are my best friend. Frog;” is there anything more heartwarming than the friendship between the two?

“What are you laughing at, Frog?” said Toad. “I am laughing at you, Toad,” said Frog, “because you do look funny in your bathing suit.” “Of course I do,” said Toad. Then he picked up his clothes and went home.

photo: @makkon712

This is another sketch from “Frog and Toad are Friends,” from the story “A Swim.” While perhaps one of the less popular stories of this duo (as some believe that this story encourages children to make fun of others), it is nonetheless fascinating to see the origin of these stories.

As the exhibit it named “Alone Together,” “Alone” from “Days with Frog and Toad” is given a notable section of this exhibit.

photo: @reikishitsu0425

This note reads “Dear Toad, I am not at home. I went out. I want to be alone.” For just a children’s book, “Alone” sends us on a roller coaster of emotions, where we fear that Frog does not want to be friends with Toad anymore, only to begin to understand the difference between loneliness and being alone.

photo: @nxnx._.73

Although some of the exhibit simply displays pages from the Frog and Toad books, their careful layout gives these children’s book an air of refinement.

photo: @___natchan

The PLAY! Museum also includes a cafe, currently featuring a Frog and Toad inspired menu. Alongside their regular menu, this special menu includes a range of meals, desserts, and lattes.

photo: @natsumi_1031

photo: @nxnx._.73

The “Alone Together” exhibit honors the life and work of Arnold Lobel, and allows us to reconnect with our childhood friends Frog and Toad. Even if you’re simply a lover of amphibians, this is an unfrogettable exhibit that should be visited.

photo: @natsumi_1031

PLAY! Museum
〒190-0014 Tokyo, Tachikawa, Midoricho, 3−1 GREEN SPRINGS W3
written by: Shannan Tanaka

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