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Frederick (German) Hardcover – 2006


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Beltz GmbH, Julius (2006)
  • Language: German
  • ISBN-10: 3407730063
  • ISBN-13: 978-3407730060
  • Product Dimensions: 10.9 x 8.5 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,971,197 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

author spotlight
"From time to time, from the endless flow of our mental imagery, there emerges unexpectedly something that, vague though it may be, seems to carry the promise of a form, a meaning, and, more important, an irresistible poetic charge."--Leo Lionni

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.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

"Of all the questions I have been asked as an author of children's books, the most frequent one, without doubt, has been 'How do you get your ideas?' Most people seem to think that getting an idea is both mysterious and simple. Mysterious, because inspiration must come from a particular state of grace with which only the most gifted souls are blessed. Simple, because ideas are expected to drop into one's mind in words and pictures, ready to be transcribed and copied in the form of a book, complete with endpapers and cover. The word get expresses these expectations well. Yet nothing could be further from the truth.

"It is true that, from time to time, from the endless flow of our mental imagery, there emerges unexpectedly something that, vague though it may be, seems to carry the promise of a form, a meaning, and, more important, an irresistible poetic charge. The sense of instant recognition with which we pull this image into the full light of our consciousness is the initial impulse of all creative acts. But, though it is important, it produces no more than the germ of an idea. Each book, at the birth of its creative history, has such a moment. Some are fortunate enough to have, from the outset, a strongly identified hero, one with an inescapable destiny. Others are blessed with a promising beginning, or perhaps with the vision of an ending (which means working backwards to a surprise opening). Others stem from a clearly articulated conflict situation. Sometimes, I must admit, the motivations of a book may be found in a sudden, unreasonable urge to draw a certain kind of crocodile. And it may even happen that in the dark of our minds there appears, out of nowhere, a constellation of words that has the bright, arrogant solidity of a title. Only last night I was jolted out of a near-slumber by the words the mouse that didn't exist. I am sure that, temporarily tucked away in my memory, they will eventually become the title of a story for which as yet I have no idea.

"To shape and sharpen the logic of a story, to tighten the flow of events, ultimately to define the idea in its totality, is much like a game of chess. In the light of overall strategy, each move is the result of doubts, proposals, and rejections, which inevitably bring to mind the successes or failures of previous experiences.

"Inspirational raptures may happen, but most books are shaped through hard, disciplined work. Creative work, to be sure, because its ingredients come from the sphere of the imaginary. But the manipulation of these ingredients requires much more than mere inclination or talent. It is an intricate process in which the idea slowly takes form, by trial and error, through detours and side roads, which, were it not for the guidance of professional rigor, would lead the author into an inextricable labyrinth of alternatives.

"And so, to the question 'How do you get your ideas?' I am tempted to answer, unromantic though it may sound, 'Hard work.' "


Leo Lionni has gained international renown for his paintings, graphic designs, illustrations, and sculpture, as well as for his books for children. He was born in Holland in 1910 of Dutch parents, and although his education did not include formal art courses (in fact, he has a doctorate in economics from the University of Genoa), he spent much of his free time as a child in Amsterdam's museums, teaching himself to draw.

Lionni's business training gradually receded into the background as his interest in art and design grew. Having settled in Milan soon after his marriage in 1931, he started off by writing about European architecture for a local magazine. It was there that he met the contacts who were to give him a start as a professional graphic designer. When he moved to America in 1939, Lionni was hired by a Philadelphia advertising agency as art director. Later he became design director for the Olivetti Corporation of America, and then art director for Fortune magazine. At the same time, his reputation as an artist flourished as he began to exhibit his paintings and drawings in galleries from New York to Japan.

Lionni launched his career as an author/illustrator of books for children in 1959. Originally developed from a story he had improvised for his grandchildren during a dull train ride, Little Blue and LittleYellow was the first of what is now a long list of children's picture books, including four Caldecott Honor Books.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Reflection Haiku on October 3, 2010
Format: Hardcover
A marvel mouse masterpiece to introduce young readers to poetry, FREDERICK illustrated how a poet works and what poetry can do for a community in a story when other mouselings gather food for the winter, he gather food for thoughts. Seemingly lazy and doing nothing, Frederick collects sunshine, colors and words for he foresees winter is cold, dark and long. His friends question about his idleness but remain courteous. Frederick holds firm in his post for he knows both roles that attend to physical and spiritual needs are vital for their survival. When the bleak season comes and they all share the crops together and when all the food is gone, it is Frederick's turn to make his contribution. He helps his friends use imagination to stay warm, remember the picturesque spring days and cheer them up with his poem, full of humor and splendor that young readers will be delighted to hear. Frederick is also available in DVD format which the animated pictures will further bring this Caldecott Honor winning fable to life.

Swimmy... and More Classic Leo Lionni Stories (Scholastic Video Collection)
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By E. Stobie on June 24, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I checked this out from the library for my son and we both loved it. It has the excellent message that the gift of prose and poetry is just as useful as gathering grains, both are important to our sustinance, both physically and emotionally.

As for Garth Williams review, I feel pity for you because you're a sad person who has to overanalyse a children's story because it doesn't play exactly into your dogma. Tell you what, look back at your life and see how many instances there are in your life where music, poetry, literature or the arts brought you any sort of joy or peace. I bet there's more than a few and basically what you're pathetically trying to do is bad mouth anyone who writes or creates something that brings something special to anyone's life. I noticed there's little creativity in your review so I'm guessing you don't do anything artistically meaningful in your life. As someone who does, I feel truly sorry for your narrow view of the life experience.
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By Margaret S. Paine on November 15, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I never got the book here. It was very.disappointing. I got something else
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Thomas Robertson on May 13, 2008
Format: Paperback
Have you noticed that all of Leo Leonni's books are about small animals and illustrated from the point of view of those small animals?
This could be because children see high windows, high doorknobs, and high furnture, and Lionni empathizes with their plight.

Every time I read this book, I get chocked up and tears start to run down my face.
Then the children look at me like I'm crazy.
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6 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Garth O. Thoresen on September 10, 2010
Format: Hardcover
This is the anti-Aesop fable.
Frederick is about a mouse who, like Aesop's grasshopper, is too lazy to help the other mice prepare for winter. Instead he sits around and daydreams. When asked by the other mice who are busy working why he won't help them, he comes up with nonsensical excuses. Somehow the other mice tolerate his lack of contribution and when winter comes they actually share with him the food they worked so hard to store up.
Because Frederick refuses to help gather food, they run out of it before winter's end and begin to get hungry. It is then that Frederick offers his own contribution such as describing colors he had "collected" while they had been collecting food. Rather than throw his lazy butt out of the nest, the other mice marvel at his gifts and praise him for doing his part.
The author of the book obviously sides with the new-age, artsy little mouse and attempts to preach to his readers by this parable that industry is bad and we should instead sit around and contemplate the wonders of the world. (A world created not by God of course but by others like ourselves - whatever that's supposed to mean)
The philosophy of this preachy little tome is against everything that made our country great - hard work, creating wealth, self-sacrifice, not living just for today but planning for tomorrow, and recognizing something greater (God) than ourselves.
We were given this book by a (very liberal) relative of ours who had read it many times to their kids (ensuring future Liberal Arts majors). I read it once and immediately threw it in the garbage. I'll stick with Aesop thank you very much.
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