Leo Lionni (1967), Trumpet Club

Four little field mice are busy collecting corn and wheat and hay to prepare for the cold winter coming – but one is not! Frederick spends his days collecting the rays of the sun, soaking in the colors of the meadow, and storing up words to share later. Once winter does come, the family of mice runs through their other supplies quickly and soon they are cold and hungry. Frederick steps up and reminds them all of the warm sunlight, bright pops of color from the flowers, and even restores their spirits with a poem.

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Talk with a child about this book

Frederick seemed like the odd one out until late in the winter when it was time for his talents to shine. One important aspect of working in a team is recognizing that everybody helps out in different ways. Can you think of a time when you were on a team? What were some of the different talents of all of the people who worked together?

How did Frederick show his creativity to his family?

Frederick was able to use his memory, imagination, and creativity to turn a bleak time into a hopeful one. He did this by remembering the warmth of the sun, the colors in the meadow, and sharing a poem he’d written. What is one way you could share hope with those around you?

What do you think will happen the next time the field mice are gathering supplies for the winter? What will everyone’s attitude toward Frederick be the second time around?