Usually, I focus on new books, but today, I need to present a classic: Frederick by Leo Lionni. Published in 1967, this book is still in print and it still speaks to all of those 9780399555527.jpegdreamy, quiet kids out there who might just be poets.

Now we all know that everyone is supposed to help clean up, do their fair share and, if you are a field mouse, that means you are supposed to help store food for the long winter. But Frederick sits with his eyelids closed, collecting the sun’s rays, or staring at the meadow, collecting colours while his mice siblings bustle about. He doesn’t look like he’s doing much, but he is. He’s saving up all his words for the thick of winter when their food supplies are dwindling. His words and poems enable them to envision spring. Hope.

I love the Fredericks of the world, and this book is a great introduction to the different roles in society, or even a touchpoint for beginning philosophy.



About AnEducationInBooks

Wendy BooydeGraaff is the author of Salad Pie, a children's picture book published by Ripple Grove Press. Her work has been published in Emrys Journal Online, The Emerson Review, Jellyfish Review, Bending Genres, SmokeLong Quarterly and Leopardskin & Limes, and is forthcoming in NOON. Read more work at or find her on Twitter @BooyTweets.
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2 Responses to Frederick

  1. I haven’t read this book. It sounds lovely and lyrical. Do you think that Frederick and Ferdinand could be friends?

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