Well, I simply adore the supremely and sweetly cute and delightful accompanying illustrations. They are tenderly caressing and evocative, and in my opinion, they actually tell the story of frog and toad's friendship in a way that the rather simplistic narrative just does not and cannot. And yes, I also do well know that Arnold Lobel’s Frog and Toad Are Friends is considered to be a classic of American children's literature and that for many, the book likely also holds very fond and nostalgic childhood memories.
However, I have always found Arnold Lobel's presented text rather annoyingly dragging (both when I first read Frog and Toad Are Friends as a child, and when I recently reread the book for a group discussion in the Children's Literature Group's Picture Book Club). Therefore, and personally, I do think that while the narrative does manage to more than adequately show the deep friendship between frog and toad, the accompanying illustrations are actually so so much more evocative and expressive of that comradeship and certainly considerably more fun and engaging (for honestly, I was actually getting more than a bit annoyed at the many textual repetitions and at times really just wanted the stories to be over and done with). But that being said, I would still and strongly recommend Frog and Toad Are Friends as both a read-aloud and for independent first reading activities, but I truly (and very much in my opinion) cannot really see all that much in Arnold Lobel’s content and the style that is really magical or all that exciting (and in fact, I do think that forbfor me, Frog and Toad Are Friends would probably work much better as a wordless picture book).
But I do have one small (and likely revealing and important) confession to make. The very first time I read Frog and Toad Are Friends was in 1976. I was ten years old, and we had just immigrated to Canada from Germany. It was given to me as an in-class ESL reading assignment, and I felt annoyed and embarrassed that I, a grade four student, who had been reading rather lengthy German children's books for more than two years (since grade two), was suddenly placed in a position of having to read books originally conceived for much younger children (due to my lack of English). And yes, I have always wondered if that feeling of childhood embarrassment might have contributed to my rather lukewarm reaction to Frog and Toad Are Friends. However, even now, as an adult, I simply cannot get myself to really, really enjoy Arnold Lobel's writing, his text (of course, I now no longer feel that sense of embarrassment and I truly am able to appreciate the marvellous, wonderful illustrations, but the narrative of Frog and Toad Are Friends continues to feel at best a trifle ho-hum and monotonous to me).