Wednesday, October 5, 2016


Throughout the month of October, we will be featuring some of our most beloved picture books on the Open, Shut Them blog! Kicking off our special series is one of my all-time favorites: Frederick, by Leo Lionni.

Frederick and his four brothers are field mice who live in an old stone wall in a meadow on an abandoned farm. As cold weather approaches, they begin to gather food, working day and night to store up enough food to last through the winter – all except Frederick, who sits dreaming on a rock in the sun. When the other mice ask what he’s doing, he tells them he’s gathering colors, words, and the rays of the sun for the cold winter days. When winter comes, at first the mice are snug and happy in the wall with ample food. But the cold and gray of winter drags on and the food nearly runs out, leaving the mice dispirited and weary. Then it is the dreamer and poet, Frederick, who cheers them up and feeds their spirits using his store of poetic visual imagery. This fable demonstrates the value of different types of work in a society.

Frederick is a Caldecott Honor Book (runner up to the Caldecott Medal, awarded for excellence in illustration) and is beautifully illustrated using collage. Frederick, by Leo Lionni, is a great book with a simple plot and wonderful, kid-pleasing illustrations that will appeal to children of all ages.

Guest post by Allison C.

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