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  • Frederick and His Friends
  • Written by Leo Lionni
    Illustrated by Leo Lionni
    Introduction by Eric Carle
  • Format: Package | ISBN: 9780375822995
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Frederick and His Friends

Four Favorite Fables

Written by Leo LionniAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Leo Lionni
Illustrated by Leo LionniAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Leo Lionni
Introduction by Eric CarleAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Eric Carle

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On Sale: October 22, 2002
Pages: 128 | ISBN: 978-0-375-82299-5
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ABOUT THE BOOK ABOUT THE BOOK
ABOUT THE AUTHOR ABOUT THE AUTHOR
PRAISE & AWARDS PRAISE & AWARDS
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Synopsis

Synopsis

Here in one sumptuous collection are four timeless picture book classics by Leo Lionni: Frederick, Swimmy, Alexander and the Wind-Up Mouse, and Fish Is Fish. In this volume, meet Frederick, the poet field mouse whose happy memories help his family endure through the darkest days of winter; Swimmy, the imaginative minnow who uses his small size in a big way; Alexander, the mouse who learns the magic of friendship; and a fish who discovers that life in a small pond isn’t so bad after all.

Lionni’s complete texts and illustrations are included along with an introduction from Eric Carle and a CD reading in this elegant, inviting gift edition.
Leo Lionni|Eric Carle

About Leo Lionni

Leo Lionni - Frederick and His Friends
“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.


PRAISE

SWIMMY

—An ALA Notable Children’s Books
—A New York Times Best Illustrated Books of the Year
—A Caldecott Honor Book

“An exquisite picture book. A little fish, the lone survivor of a school of fish swallowed by a tuna, devises a plan to camouflage himself and his new companions.”—Starred, School Library Journal.


FREDERICK

—A School Library Journal Best Book of the Year
—An ALA Notable Children’s Book
—A Library of Congress Children’s Book of the Year
—A New York Times Best Illustrated Book of the Year
—A Caldecott Honor Book

“While other mice are gathering food for the winter, Frederick seems to daydream the summer away. When dreary winter comes, it is Frederick the poet-mouse who warms his friends and cheers them with his words.”—Wilson Library Bulletin

“A splendid achievement.”—Starred, School Library Journal


LEO LIONNI’S LITTLE MICE TALES

“If the picture book is a new visual art form in our time, Leo Lionni is certain to be judged a master of the genre.”—The New York Times

About Eric Carle

Eric Carle - Frederick and His Friends
Eric Carle is acclaimed and beloved as the creator of brilliantly illustrated and innovatively designed picture books for very young children. His best-known work, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, has eaten its way into the hearts of literally millions of children all over the world and has been translated into more than 25 languages and sold over twelve million copies. Since the Caterpillar was published in 1969, Eric Carle has illustrated more than sixty books, many best sellers, most of which he also wrote.

Born in Syracuse, New York, in 1929, Eric Carle moved with his parents to Germany when he was six years old; he was educated there, and graduated from the prestigious art school, the Akademie der bildenden Kunste, in Stuttgart. But his dream was always to return to America, the land of his happiest childhood memories. So, in 1952, with a fine portfolio in hand and forty dollars in his pocket, he arrived in New York. Soon he found a job as a graphic designer in the promotion department of The New York Times. Later, he was the art director of an advertising agency for many years.

One day, respected educator and author, Bill Martin Jr, called to ask Carle to illustrate a story he had written. Martin's eye had been caught by a striking picture of a red lobster that Carle had created for an advertisement. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? was the result of their collaboration. It is still a favorite with children everywhere. This was the beginning of Eric Carle's true career. Soon Carle was writing his own stories, too. His first wholly original book was 1,2,3 to the Zoo, followed soon afterward by the celebrated classic, The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

Eric Carle's art is distinctive and instantly recognizable. His art work is created in collage technique, using hand-painted papers, which he cuts and layers to form bright and cheerful images. Many of his books have an added dimension - die-cut pages, twinkling lights as in The Very Lonely Firefly, even the lifelike sound of a cricket's song as in The Very Quiet Cricket - giving them a playful quality: a toy that can be read, a book that can be touched. Children also enjoy working in collage and many send him pictures they have made themselves, inspired by his illustrations. He receives hundreds of letters each week from his young admirers. The secret of Eric Carle's books' appeal lies in his intuitive understanding of and respect for children, who sense in him instinctively someone who shares their most cherished thoughts and emotions.

The themes of his stories are usually drawn from his extensive knowledge and love of nature - an interest shared by most small children. Besides being beautiful and entertaining, his books always offer the child the opportunity to learn something about the world around them. It is his concern for children, for their feelings and their inquisitiveness, for their creativity and their intellectual growth that, in addition to his beautiful artwork, makes the reading of his books such a stimulating and lasting experience.

Carle says: "With many of my books I attempt to bridge the gap between the home and school. To me home represents, or should represent; warmth, security, toys, holding hands, being held. School is a strange and new place for a child. Will it be a happy place? There are new people, a teacher, classmates - will they be friendly? I believe the passage from home to school is the second biggest trauma of childhood; the first is, of course, being born. Indeed, in both cases we leave a place of warmth and protection for one that is unknown. The unknown often brings fear with it. In my books I try to counteract this fear, to replace it with a positive message. I believe that children are naturally creative and eager to learn. I want to show them that learning is really both fascinating and fun."

Eric Carle has two grown-up children, a son and a daughter. With his wife Barbara, he lives in Northampton, Massachusetts. The Carles spend their summers in the nearby Berkshire hills.

copyright © 2000 by Penguin Group (USA) Books for Young Readers. All rights reserved.

Praise | Awards

Praise

“Frederick—the title character of this warm-hearted, graphically adventurous picture-book treasury—is a mouse. But he’s a dreamer as well and could be any thoughtful child you may happen to know.” —Parenting Magazine

“[Lionni] transforms each page into a drama of singular beauty, with the audience holding its breath as scene after scene unfolds across the stage. . . . the audience responds in joyous applause. And so will you.” —Eric Carle, author of The Very Hungry Caterpillar

“A childhood is simply not complete without the fables of Leo Lionni. . . . Here are four of his best.”—San Diego Union-Tribune

Awards

WINNER Parenting Magazine Best Book of the Year

  • Frederick and His Friends by Leo Lionni; illustrated by the author
  • October 22, 2002
  • Juvenile Fiction - Legends, Myths, Fables
  • Knopf Books for Young Readers
  • $24.95
  • 9780375822995

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