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Arnold Lobel papers

Call Number: GEN MSS 2054

Scope and Contents

The collection contains original artwork, drafts, notes, proofs, dummies, mechanicals, mockups, and other materials for books by children's author and illustrator Arnold Lobel, and works of others illustrated by Lobel. Included are materials related to one of Lobel's earliest works, Prince Bertram the Bad, as well as Mouse Soup and The Turnaround Wind, and his illustrations for children's authors such as Laura Geringer, Valerie Scho Carey, Cheli Durán, Maxine Kumin, Edward Lear, Doris Orgel, Peggy Parish, Burr Tillstrom, Jean Van Leeuwen, and Harriet Ziefert. Artwork consists of sketches and watercolor, pencil, pen and ink, and pen and wash drawings.


  • circa 1963-1987


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

The Arnold Lobel Papers is the physical property of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University. Literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assigns. For further information, consult the appropriate curator.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Adrianne Lobel, Adam Lobel, and the Estate of Arnold Lobel, 2017.


Organized into two series: I. Written and Illustrated by Lobel, 1963-1987. II. Writings of Others Illustrated by Lobel, 1968-1987.


49.27 Linear Feet (31 boxes)

Language of Materials


Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL


The collection contains original artwork, drafts, notes, proofs, dummies, mockups, mechanicals, and other material for books by children’s author and illustrator Arnold Lobel, and works of others illustrated by Lobel.

Arnold Lobel (1933-1987)

Arnold Lobel was an American author and illustrator who worked on nearly 100 children's books. He was born on May 22, 1933, in Los Angeles, California, and raised in Schenectady, New York. In 1955, Lobel graduated with a BFA from the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York. After graduation, he supported himself as an illustrator for advertising agencies and trade magazines. Lobel began his career in children's literature illustrating Harper & Row's early reader books. His first book as an author and illustrator was A Zoo for Mister Muster (1962).

Among his most recognized works is a series of four books about a frog and a toad: Frog and Toad Are Friends (1970); Frog and Toad Together (1972); Frog and Toad all Year (1976); and Days with Frog and Toad (1979). Frog and Toad are Friends was chosen as a 1971 Caldecott Honor Book by the American Library Association, and Frog and Toad Together was recognized as a Newbery Honor Book in 1973. He was awarded the Caldecott Medal in 1981 for Fables. Other works by Lobel include The Man Who Took the Indoors Out (1974), Mouse Soup (1977), Ming Lo Moves the Mountain (1982), On the Day Peter Stuyvesant Sailed Into Town (1971), Prince Bertram the Bad (1963), and The Turnaround Wind (1987). Lobel also illustrated children's books for authors such as Laura Geringer, Valerie Scho Carey, Cheli Durán, Burr Tillstrom, Harriet Ziefert, Doris Orgel, Maxine Kumin, Jean Van Leeuwen, Peggy Parish, and Edward Lear. Other works as illustrator include Gregory Griggs and Other Nursery Rhyme People (1978), Random House Book of Mother Goose (1986), and Random House Book of Poetry for Children (1983).

In 1955, Lobel married children's author and illustrator Anita Kempler. They collaborated on books such as How the Rooster Saved the Day (1977), A Treeful of Pigs (1979), and On Market Street (1981). The couple had two children, Adrianne and Adam. In 1974, Lobel came out to his family as gay. He died of cardiac arrest in New York in 1987.

Processing Information

Collections are processed to a variety of levels, depending on the work necessary to make them usable, their perceived research value, the availability of staff, competing priorities, and whether or not further accruals are expected. The library attempts to provide a basic level of preservation and access for all collections, and does more extensive processing of higher priority collections as time and resources permit.

This collection received a basic level of processing, including rehousing and minimal organization.

Information included in the Description of Papers note and Collection Contents section is drawn from information supplied with the collection and from an initial survey of the contents. Folder titles appearing in the contents list below are often based on those provided by the creator or previous custodian. Otherwise, folder titles are supplied by staff during initial processing.

This finding aid may be updated periodically to account for new acquisitions to the collection and/or revisions in arrangement and description.

Guide to the Arnold Lobel Papers
by Annalise Hennessey and Lucretia Baskin
November 2022
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library Repository

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Access Information

The Beinecke Library is open to all Yale University students and faculty, and visiting researchers whose work requires use of its special collections. You will need to bring appropriate photo ID the first time you register. Beinecke is a non-circulating, closed stack library. Paging is done by library staff during business hours. You can request collection material online at least two business days in advance of your visit, using the request links in Archives at Yale. For more information, please see Planning Your Research Visit and consult the Reading Room Policies prior to visiting the library.