Do you know Frederick? He has big ears, sleepy eyes, and a rather prominent tail.
Oh—maybe I forgot to mention—Frederick is a mouse. He’s the unlikely hero of a lovely little book by Leo Lionni called … you guessed it:
It’s a children’s book, but I really don’t like making such a rigid distinction because, hey, we’re all kids at heart, right? And this tiny gem speaks volumes to literature lovers, no matter what age.
Frederick, you see, is considered among his mischief (i.e. mouse tribe) to be a layabout loafer. In the eyes of his hardworking companions, he appears to shirk his pre-winter duties—stockpiling grain and the like—in favor of daydreaming.
“Frederick, why don’t you work?” they ask. “Are you dreaming?”
But in fact, Frederick is working, in his own way. Instead of corn and nuts, he’s gathering words.
Words? How can words possibly be as important to winter survival as food?
That’s for Frederick, in all his marvelously mousy wisdom, to tell …