A few weeks ago, my five year old and I had a date. We had tickets to see Seattle Children’s Theatre’s latest production, especially meant for a young audience. Last spring, when I first discovered that there would be a Frog and Toad production, I purchased a few of the books written by Arnold Lobel, so that I could share them with my little boy. As soon as we read the first book, he was a fan. If you don’t have any Frog and Toad books in your home library, you should think about acquiring a few.
Frog and Toad are the best of friends, but couldn’t be any more different from one another. Frog is optimistic and open to the world, while Toad is a bit more grumpy and cynical. They are a perfect match. As an adult, I find them quite hilarious. I couldn’t wait to see how their personalities would translate to the stage in A Year with Frog and Toad.
As we arrived to choose our seats, I found the set to be adorable. It felt as if we were right in Frog and Toad’s neighborhood, with their cute little houses and humongous leaves hanging off the trees. The play opens with them waking up in the springtime, as an energetic Frog tries to awaken sleepy and reluctant Toad.
The audience is along for the ride, as we follow the pair through each season of the year. They plant seeds, go swimming, bake cookies (my favorite scene), rake leaves, go sledding, and celebrate Christmas Eve together. The sets are amazing and the music is captivating. Songs are thread throughout the production and as we were driving home, they were still running through my head (in a good way).
Frog and Toad aren’t the only stars of the show, however. There are birds, squirrels, moles, and my personal fave, the snail. That poky snail delivers a letter to Toad, which takes an insanely long amount of time, and he reappears several times so that you follow his progress. The song he sings is witty and addicting and his movements are spot on. If you ever wondered how a person transforms into a snail, this is it. Hysterical.
This show would be fun even if you weren’t familiar with the Frog and Toad books, but I think your experience will be richer if your child goes into it with a little bit of background. All the stories we had already read came to life on the stage and my five year old was mesmerized. Seriously. At one point, I didn’t think he was enjoying it because his face looked like a stone statue. I have since learned that it just means he is taking it all in moment by moment. As soon as we left the building he asked if we could see it again. That really is the best review you can ask for.
The show runs about an hour and forty-five minutes with a short intermission. I can’t recommend it enough.