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The single most important book of my childhood
am 1. Mai 1999
I and my sister grew up with Frederick as one of the most sacred books in our childhood canon. Recently, while shuffling through boxes of ancient heirlooms, I came across the simple, unassuming cover of Frederick (in 1977 the cover showed only the back of Frederick in the lower right corner, gazing into the distance, and no title), and immediately a serene peace overcame me. I couldn't believe I had forgotten about this book. I sat down and read it again, and from a distance of twenty years it still resonated with me. This book brought calm and joy into my heart as a child, and did so again as I read it today. I can't think of any better recommendation for a book than that.
In terms of content, the story of Frederick is simple. In a community narrowly focused on efficiency, one mouse stands apart and concerns himself with art. Frederick notes the wonder of the world he lives in, and takes the time to assimilate it. While his cohorts may grumble at this behavior, when the dreariness of winter overtakes them they are grateful for Frederick's words. Frederick's poetry is seen as an essential supply for survival.
The illustrations are simple and yet extremely expressive -- witness my instant emotional reaction to a cover that was ninety-percent blank space -- and the wording is likewise concise. But the emotional impact of this book is what sets it apart. Out of sixty or seventy books I thumbed through today, I pulled out six that I felt defined my childhood. This book was at the top of the stack.