This comprehensive and entertaining compendium of toad lore surveys the history of toads as biological entity, literary and artistic subject, mythological subject, and threatened species. Here is a uniquely insightful and engaging look at how humans through the ages have responded to and been influenced by their amphibian neighbors.
"The choice of tales, poetry, and art flawlessly illustrates the text. This volume is a rare treasure."
– The Animals' Agenda
"By integrating his commentary with the world of poetry, literature, art, and science, the author presents examples of the impact the toad has had upon the thoughts and actions of humankind. Degraaff considers this amphibian from every angle--from its biological aspects, which include its heritage as the evolutionary progenitor of land animals, to its role in mysticism and its value as an ingredient in witch's brew. He also incorporates the writings of Lewis Carroll, Beatrice Potter, William Shakespeare, and many others. Degraaff's whimsical approach to this offbeat subject and the many high-quality art reproductions combine to produce an attractive, entertaining package for general readers."
– Library Journal (Wednesday, January 01, 1992) Frank Reiser, Nassau Community Coll., Garden City, N.Y
"An entertaining, imaginative treatise that will appeal to readers who appreciate the unusual in prose, poetry, and art."
– E.D. Keiser, University of Mississippi, Choice Magazine
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Robert DeGraaff has been a professor of Victorian literature at St. Lawrence University for more than twenty years. He is also an accomplished limericist and the tiller of a 5,000-square-foot vegetable garden, in which he communes whenever possible with Bufo americanus, the American toad.