Frog vs Toad – Ben Mantle

Stars: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

In this hilarious picture book, Frog and Toad are at odds. A frog is a frog, and a toad is a toad. When they are mistaken by a fly to be the same, they are both furious and begin to argue about who is better and why.

But when they are visited by a visitor who sees them both as a tasty snack, can they put their differences aside and begin to accept they are more similar than they think?

Today I am thrilled to have a Q&A from Ben Mantle, the author and illustrator of this fantastic picture book.

1) What inspired you to use these two animals for a story?

The book really came from a very silly idea of what animals might win when facing off against each other in a competition. Like a shark vs a crocodile for example. But, this very quickly morphed into the idea of two animals that are similar but couldn’t stand each other. At this point, it really was a shortlist of animals that could work, like rabbit vs hare or crocodile vs alligator, but frogs and toads in my mind are just funnier to look at. And their differences a bit more pronounced, which is why I went with them in the end.

2) Frog & Toad say throw some funny insults at each other. Did you find these easy to come up with?

I pride myself on my punning ability. I’ve been making dad jokes years before actually having a child, so this book felt like the perfect material, but having said that, there were a lot of jokes and insults that didn’t make it into the book. 

3) What do you think is the most important message from this book?

If you take anything from the book, it is about looking past the differences and seeing the similarities.

4) Do you write all the book and then illustrate, or illustrate as you go?

Whenever a story idea pops into my head I start drawing first. I find it much easier to work out things visually. So, it’s a bit of back and forth between drawing and writing and they both influence each other. 

5)Why do you think humour is important in books for children?

Well, for several reasons. You want children to enjoy your story and for it to have repeat reads and humour is great for both. But also, humour is a really effective way to say something more serious, without it feeling too preachy.

6) Do you have a favourite…frog or toad?!

Oh this is tricky, but I do tend to draw Frog more when I’m signing books, so let’s go with him.

If you like the sound of this book, you can buy it here.

Emily x

📚Book gifted by publisher

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