"When Arnold Lobel was growing up in Schenecdaty New York, he was out of school and sick through most of second grade. One of the ways he kept himself occupied was by drawing. Somewhat hesitant about returning to school, he used his animal drawings as a way to make friends with his classmates. It has been said that his sets of books about animal friends, such as Frog and Toad, were based on these experiences. Lobel himself commented ""Frog and Toad are really two aspects of myself.""
His health improved, and upon graduting high school, he decided to improve his artistic skills and attended Pratt Institute in Brooklyn where he focused on illustration and met his future wife Anita, also a talented illustrator. They settled in Brooklyn and had two children Adrianne and Adam. The Prospect Park Zoo was right across the meadow from their apartment, and the family would go there often. These trips to the zoo gave him the idea for the Mister Muster book. He dedicated it to Anita, Adrianna, and Adam. He and his wife worked in the same studio, on their own projects and on collaborations.
Lobel's books are warm, funny tales of love and friendship, most featuring animals as the main characters. His book Frog and Toad was a Caldecott Honor book in 1971. His lighthearted yet morally instructive book Fables won the Caldecott Medal in 1981. He has also illustrated many books by other authors, including Charlotte Zolotow's The Quarreling Book.
Lobel called himself a daydreamer instead of an author or an artist. He would see the pictues in his mind before he would think up the words to go with them. ""I cannot think of any work that could be more agreeable and fun than making books for children."" Lobel has said. He died in 1987 leaving a legacy of almost 100 books that he had written or illustrated."