Title: Frederick

Author: Leo Lionni

Publication Date: 1967

Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf

Price: $16.95 (Hardcover)

Number of Pages: 32

Awards: Caldecott Honor Book

Genre/Subgenre: Animal fiction


Popularity: 4/4

Quality: 5/5

Reader’s Annotation:

Imaginative mouse Frederick learns that there are benefits to being a dreamer.


It is summer and Frederick the mouse lives in a stone wall with his family. While the rest of his family spends the summer and fall gathering nuts and grain for the winter, Frederick says that he is gathering sunlight, colors, and words for winter. When the winter comes, the family goes through the stores of nuts and grain and then they ask Frederick to share his supplies. He tells them about sunshine and the colors of the plants and flowers in the sunshine. Finally, he recites them a poem that he created about the four seasons, and his family realizes that Frederick is a poet!


I thought Frederick was a very cute, creative story. The illustrations are beautiful and I think this would be a good book for a library story time. I think students and patrons will enjoy Frederick and his poem.

Why I Chose the Book:

Not to judge a book by its cover, but I thought Frederick the mouse was adorable and I wanted to read his story.


Let’s Play by Leo Lionni

The Biggest House in the World by Leo Lionni

Book Talk Ideas

Have students or patrons create their own poem about the seasons.

Discussion Questions

1. How is Frederick different from the other mice? How is his difference helpful?


Amazon (2014). Frederick: Leo Lionni. Retrieved from:


Goodreads (2014). Frederick by Leo Lionni. Retrieved from:


Lionni, L. (1967) Frederick [Kindle version]. New York: Alfred A. Knopf