Frederick (Step Into Reading, Step 3)
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Frederick (Step Into Reading, Step 3)

4.17 of 5 stars 4.17  ·  rating details  ·  12,185 ratings  ·  248 reviews
Leo Lionni’s Caldecott Honor–winning story is now available as a Step 3 Step into Reading book—perfect for children who are ready to read on their own.

Winter is coming, and all the mice are gathering food . . . except for Frederick. But when the days grow short and the snow begins to fall, it’s Frederick’s stories that warm the hearts and spirits of his fellow field mice...more
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published July 8th 2014 by Random House Books for Young Readers (first published 1967)
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Killer Rabbit
An Apology for Idlers for kids!
I loved this story when I thought it was just for my toddlers. But as an adult who is currently reading the Robert Louis Stevenson equivalent, I better understand why my heart went thumpity-thump. (Wouldn't it be great if every Caldecott and Newberry medal and honor book worked as beautifully on both levels?)

This is the story of Frederic(k) and his mouse family. In the beginning, you might think that you are in for a retelling of The Ant and the Grasshopper. Not so...more
Lately, I have been re-reading many children’s books that I have not read since I was a child and “Frederick” is one of those books I have not read for awhile! “Frederick” is a Caldecott Honor book by Leo Lionni and it is about a laid back mouse named Frederick who seems to get out of his duties of preparing food for the winter, but ends up hiding an extraordinary secret!. “Frederick” is definitely a children’s book that children who love reading about poets cannot resist!

Wow! I was really impre...more
Meghan Chiampa
Jun 12, 2008 Meghan Chiampa rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: stoners
Recommended to Meghan by: jesus
This is the best book in the entire history of planet earth. not only are the pictures of little paper mice awesome the story is about a little lazy mouse who keeps getting yelled at because he sleeps and just sits there all day. but he is day dreaming and then the mice are like WTF frederick, get your ass up and help, and he's like, no way, im collecting colors for the winters are grey. then in the end all the food is gone and frederick recites poetry and saves everyones life. BEST BOOK EVER.
Micah Elliott
Although this book is delightful for the kids, Frederick really inspires YOU!

I'm adding this review for the impact it has had on me as an entrepreneur, idea generator, and casual writer. I think Lionni wrote this book autobiographically as someone who was often focused on less tangible work (absorbing and imagining). While so many laborers around us do the "real work", we spend our time not conforming to the traditions: we generate free content, feedback, software, bug reports, etc., and to many...more
So the story goes that you have 5 mice. Four of them work their little mousey tuchas' off to gather enough food to eat for the winter and enough hay to keep warm. Frederick sits on his butt and does jack. When the other mice confront Fredrick, he tells them that he is collecting colors for the dreary winter days or that he is collecting words.

So the winter comes and the other mice are generous enough to let Frederick eat their food and keep warm due to their collective gathering. Towards the en...more
You read correctly. The book with the cute little poetic mouse holding a flower is maybe the only book to which I would give a one star review. This was on the recommended reading list for my four year old and I read it to him, excited because all the books on the list were so good. I'll have to start screening the picture books from now. This story is about a mouse who daydreams and writes poems while the other 4 mice in his small community gather nuts and straw for the winter. When the are all...more
Courtney Dyer
While the other field mice work the summer away gathering food for winter, Frederick sits on a rock by himself gathering the sun’s rays, colors, and words for the cold, dark, and long winter days that lie ahead. When all of the food has run out, Frederick’s “supplies” and poetic words warm the mice and bring them comfort.

Frederick is a truly inspirational story about the power of imagination that is sure to capture the heart of its readers, young and old alike. Receiving the Caldecott Honor Awar...more
joanna Sondheim
One of my favorite children's books. Frederick sits and daydreams all day while the rest of his mouse family is busy collecting fruits and nuts for the coming winter. When they ask him what he's doing just sitting there, he answers that he's busy collecting colors or words for when there are none. Finally the winter comes and the rest of the mice are feeling down because of the dreary weather, and Frederick is called upon to give them some of what he'd been collecting all that time. He tells the...more
Jan 13, 2012 Amy rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Amy by: Lili
Shelves: childrens, reviewed
My niece and I both loved Frederick! When Frederick was telling his siblings to close their eyes and imagine the sun and the colors, my niece took his suggestions to heart. We live in the grey Pacific Northwest, so we totally identified with what cloudy, colorless winters are like! With her eyes closed, a little smile came onto my niece's face and she said, "Mmmm... I *can* feel the sun! And the colors *are* beautiful!" We both smiled at the end of the story, and agreed that it's a pretty great...more
Frederic is possibly the first book that ever disturbed me. My first grade teacher read it to us one afternoon. I was a child who had grown up on such stories as The Little Red Hen ('You didn't help me harvest the grain; you didn't help me bake the bread; you will not help me eat the bread.') and even at that age, I believed in the power of hard work (or at least the necessity of it.)

Frederic is a story about a family of mice who prepares for the winter by gathering various supplies, all of the...more
This simple fable involves a mouse, Frederick, and four other unnamed members of his family. They live in an old stone wall, near an abandoned farm. As winter approaches, four of the mice work hard gathering food for their survival. Frederick gathers survival materials of a completely unexpected, unusual nature, providing a wonderful twist to this popular fable.

The Kindle edition re-creates print versions, featuring Lionni’s simple, beautiful collages. Illustrations clearly support the text, wit...more
Heather Copp
Frederick is the story of a mouse who spends his days observing the scenery, the sounds, the smells of the world around him as his family collects food in preparation for the long cold winter...As winter arrives, the family of mice retreat to their hideout in a stonewall, where they share food and stories. However as winter progresses and the food runs short, the mice become sad and withdrawn. Frederick shares with his family tales of the wonderful scenery, warm sun, colorful flowers and more th...more
Nov 05, 2010 Dolly rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
We've read several books by Leo Lionni and can appreciate his skill with both writing and illustrating stories. We compare his works with those of Eric Carle and Tomie dePaola. This is an interesting tale about skills and needs. While other mice are busy foraging for winter provisions, Frederick is storing up his words to be able to entertain the group throughout the long, cold, gray winter. While this skill might not be appreciated by many industrious societies, it seems to work here. We enjoye...more
Robert Marsh
I am a writer today because of this book. I remember reading this as a kid, seeing Frederick soak in the sun and colors around him while the other mice toiled away. I instantly realized -- that's the job for me! That's not being lazy. That's using your head. Besides, its Frederick who saves the mice colony in the end. When they run out of supplies, it's Frederick's words that help carry them through to Spring.

Great book. Great story. Great author and illustrator. Get this book for any budding ar...more
I just happened to pick this up at the thrift store today for my 3 yr old. I skimmed the first few pages and thought that the illustrations (and content) looked great. My assumption was that this was a book about a little mouse who didn't help get ready for winter - and would then suffer SOME repercussions for his selfish/lazy actions.

Nope - it was all about how he was an artsy slacker who everyone came to appreciate when they were starving in the dead of winter. What kind of lesson is this book...more
The story is cute, but the moral is flawed to me.

I think the book would have worked better for me if one of the mouse (a leader mouse?) was able to foresee that they wouldn't have enough food/warmth to last through their winter if they don't start saving on it, which gives an opportunity for Frederick to share his harvest. Thus, with combination of limited food sources and their ~+*imagination*+~ the entire family of mouse made it through the winter together. I don't buy the idea that people (or...more
Lionni's signature cut paper illustrations probably felt more creative when first published; now they feel a bit stiff. Still, the story of Frederick is winner. All summer, the other mice are prepping for winter while Frederick sits on his duff soaking up sun, memorizing colors, and storing away words. Clearly he's one lazy fellow! But a fun twist at the end has all of the mice hailing him as their hero.
Sarah Erbes
a. author: Leo Lionni
b. genre: Fiction/Picture
c. publication date: 1967
d. annotation:
-Frederick and his family live on an abandoned farm. They are slowly gathering supplies for winter but Frederick is not helping them do the work. Instead he is completing his own task, of observing the world. At first the other mice do not understand this but appreciate it once they have run low on food and he is able to provide them with his skills.

-This book shows that not all people have to do the same th...more
The value of the imagination, color, and words are well affirmed in Frederick, but this is truly a late-'60s book, promoting artistic expression as an alternative to everyday work that contributes to the common good. The cut-paper collages that make up the illustrations are well done - could the mice have been a little less cute?
Mar 19, 2008 Kirei rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: kids
My son didn't much like this book, and I can't say I was overly fond of it either. It is a about a mouse who collects and saves warmth, colors, and words while the other mice are busy collecting food for the coming winter. So the moral is that it's okay to goof off while everyone else is working?
Cheryl in CC NV
I read this several times when my sons were pre-schoolers. A variation of Aesop's "Ant & Grasshopper" fable - and typical of Lionni's work. It takes me, with my Ant-like work ethic, a bit of work to appreciate Lionni's world-view - but it's worth it. A modern classic.
José García
Llega el invierno y todos los ratones se dedican a acumular comida para pasarlo sin necesidades. Todos menos uno, Frederick, que se dedica a tomar el sol, para acumular sus rayos, dice, a observar el prado, para guardar sus colores, dice y a algo parecido a dormitar, a recoger palabras, dice él. Cuando las provisiones de van gastando le piden los otros ratones que les dé los rayos del sol y él les pide que cierren los ojos y con su descripción los ratones notan como los rayos calientan su piel,...more
Robin Shelton
This is a simple story about a mouse who see's life differently than his family. Frederic knows that their is more to preparing for winter than just gathering food and building a shelter. Frederic takes in and restates the beauty of color, words, and the warmth of the sun. These things the other mice felt were not as important. Frederic was a cute story that would be great to use in a classroom when talking about the senses like smell, touch, and sight. I enjoyed this story quite a bit because F...more
Daddy remembered this one from when HE was little, and was disappointed in the reaction.
I have a special place in my heart for Lionni.

(re-read for Caldecott Challenge)
Kevin Wright
Frederick illustrates the idiom that (mice and) men cannot live by bread alone. Frederick refuses to work, at least in the traditional sense, but after sitting and staring and daydreaming for months on end, he is able to nourish the minds of his fellow mice once the food has run dry.

Leo Lionni pioneered the use of cutout illustration in children's books, although today it's hard to see the style without thinking of South Park. But the art gives the book a unique look and texture that helps the...more
Author: Leo Lionni

Genre: Fiction Picture Book

Publication Info: Lectorum Publications: 2005

Reading Level: Early; Ages 4-8

Topic/Theme: Animal preparation for winter/ Family relationships/ working together

Issues Addressed: You may not be able to bring the same talents as other people, so instead reveal what your talent is and how it can help just as much.

Classroom Uses: Read Aloud, Individual Reading, Guided Reading

Summary: Frederick is a field mouse who sat around while his four brothers gathere...more
Linda Lipko
This book is charming, delightful and message driven!

When fall approaches the family of mice who live in the cracks and crannies of the large grey stone wall, begin the process of preparing for the long, cold winter.

While they toil, Frederick sits on the rocks and meditates. All work and toil day and night except for Frederick. When asked why he doesn't help, he replies that he is working--he is gathering sun rays for the cold dark winter.

As he sits on the rocks, he tells his fellow mice he is g...more
Frederick is a picturebook for nursery readers. I read the ebook edition of this Caldecott Honor Book.

This book tells the story of a family of field mice preparing for the oncoming winter months. Most of the mice gather nuts, corn, wheat and straw for the oncoming winter, but not Frederick. His siblings question what Frederick is doing and he is preparing for winter in a creative way.

Frederick was written and illustrated by Leo Leonni. His pictures are done in earth tones and provide the reader...more
This is a cute tale about a mouse named Frederic who uses his imagination to make the Winter more cozy for his friends. As his friends work hard to gather food and supplies for Winter, Frederic sits back and does nothing. When his friends ask him what he's doing, Frederic replies that he's gathering things like sun rays and colors. Once Winter comes, the field mice eat their supplies and have wonderful chats. When they run out of supplies and words to speak, it's up to Frederic to save the day w...more
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Leo Lionni wrote and illustrated more than 40 highly acclaimed children's books. He received the 1984 American Institute of Graphic Arts Gold Medal and was a four-time Caldecott Honor Winner--for Inch by Inch, Frederick, Swimmy, and Alexander and the Wind-Up Mouse. Leo Lionni died in October of 1999 at his home in Tuscany, Italy, at the age of 89.

Leo Lionni has gained international...more
More about Leo Lionni...
A Color of His Own Swimmy Alexander and the Wind-Up Mouse Inch by Inch Little Blue and Little Yellow

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