Review: Frederick

I’ve been into activities lately, whether it be discussion questions or art projects. This time I’ve switched things around: I am going back to a picture book and returning to something old. This book is an original publication which my parents purchased for me from the Weekly Reader Children’s Book Club (yes, the pencil shading on the author’s name is courtesy of six-year-old me).




Author: Leo Lionni

Publisher: Pantheon, 1967

Source: Personal collection


While the other little mice living in the stone wall are out collecting corn, nuts, wheat and straw for the winter months, Frederick does not seem to be working. However, he, too, is collecting – the rays of the sun, colors, and words – which he claims are just as important to have for the long months of winter.


Although this may seem like a small story, it is not. There are so many things to talk about. First, it’s a nice way to introduce our five senses. Secondly, it introduces the idea that although things needed for survival are important, that doesn’t mean that things which are intangible and possibly ephemeral should be taken for granted. Third, it is a nice reminder to understand and appreciate different points of view.


There are plenty of activities to go with all of Leo Lionni’s books. I’ve given just a few links here, but if you look online you will find plenty more to choose.



Check out our previous posts about Leo Lionni here:

Review of Matthew’s Dream

–Using Leo Lionni’s picture books in art classes (1, 2)


For a few more Leo Lionni activity ideas, don’t forget to check out our latest Pinterest board HERE!