Author(s): Leo Lionni


A family of five field mice is gathering food for the winter and everyone is working hard to bring in as much food as they can, except Frederick. Frederick seems to spend his time staring at the meadow and half-asleep, dreaming. When the other mice ask him what he is doing, Frederick replies that he is gathering sun rays, colours and words. Once winter sets in, the five mice hide away in an old stone wall, and as time goes on there is less food and more cold. Then they remember Frederick’s fall activities and ask him about his supplies. Frederick proceeds to describe the rays of the sun and colours, and begins reciting poetry.

The family realizes that he is a poet. The story beautifully raises questions about what constitutes work and whether some forms of work are more important than others, whether Frederick was pulling his weight in the family, and what responsibilities family members have to each other.


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Product Information

Leo Lionni wrote and illustrated more than forty picture books, including four Caldecott Honor books--Inch by Inch, Swimmy, Frederick, and Alexander and the Wind-Up Mouse. He died in 1999 at the age of 89.

General Fields

  • : 9780399555527
  • : Dragonfly Books
  • : Dragonfly Books
  • : 0.181
  • : January 2017
  • : 267mm X 216mm X 5mm
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Leo Lionni
  • : Paperback
  • : FIC