Cover of Commander Toad and the Voyage Home by Jane Yolen

Commander Toad and the Voyage Home

I began the COMMANDER TOAD books because I saw an article in the local newspaper about a boy and his frog who had just won a jumping-frog contest. The frog’s name was “Star Warts.” I thought it would be funnier if the frog had been a toad, since the old superstition is that toads gives you warts. (It isn’t true, of course.) So I invented frog and toads in space on a ship called “Star Warts.” Every book is riddled with puns. (I love puns!) There are seven Commander Toad books altogether, though I have been thinking about possibly writing an eighth. A half-hour television show was made with puppets about Commander Toad but it wasn’t very successful. For some reason, several of the characters were changed–Jake into a human boy and Doc Pepper into a turtle–and the ship’s name was changed as well to “Stella.” Also all the puns were missing.

All the Commander Toad books were on Reading Rainbow.

What reviewers have said:

  • “Yolen captures the high drama of space fiction in a delightful story that never loses sight of developing readers, who will be old enough to get the jokes but still young enough to relish the goofiness. Illustrations by Bruce Degen add a nice touch.” — Booklist

Both editions are in print.