Baby Frederico Reviews! – ‘Inch by Inch’


*Every Thursday we introduce you to another quick bedtime story (or book review) from our family’s favorite resident reptile – Baby Frederico. His backstory can be found here.  Enjoy!

Baby Frederico loves his Momma Mia and Papá Frita, his buddy Grenelda the Grasshopper, blue crayons, popcorn and…books about insects.  Here is something new:

May 16, 2014

Hi everyone,

Here is another of my favorite books by one of the greatest children’s authors and illustrators ever- Leo Lionni.  My Papa Frita has read this book to me so many times I have it memorized!

So today, let’s make a list of some of the great things I love about Inch by Inch (1960, Alfred Knopf).

1.  There is nothing like a good book of words AND drawings, all in the same place. This book does that on EVERY page.

2.  There’s a very “green as an emerald” inchworm in this book, and you know how much I love small green animals.

3.  The book is written from the point of view of a very smart inchworm. He can outwit all kinds of inchworm-hungry birds.

4. The most important part of the book is that it explains how a clever solution exists for most any problem.

There all kinds of fascinating birds in this book and the illustrations were all made using collage, colored pencil and crayon! I love all three of those things!

Reading is it,

Baby Frederico

Tuesday’s Look at this Book! – ‘It’s Mine’


* Every Tuesday we introduce you to a favorite book from our secret book room.

Today’s great book: It’s Mine! by Leo Lionni (1985, Scholastic)

Interesting Facts about the Author:

Time to Read: we read it just before bed

Summary:  from Scholastic…”It’s Mine! is the Caldecott award-winning author/illustrator Leo Lionni’s classic about three lovable frogs who learn a valuable lesson.”

Best Quote from the Book:  “Worms are for everybody!” they cried. But Milton croaked defiantly, “Not this one. It’s mine!”

Our View:  As it is with so many of the great fables of our own childhoods, this short story conveys a wonderful moral with the help of colorfully illustrated animals and a world of perspective.  Lionni uses words and illustrations as only a few of the great children’s authors of the past century have to bring to life an idea that is faced by every human being, large or small – being selfish or being selfless.  It is not always an easy choice, but it is a choice we all must make.  When we find that we can make the selfless choice, it is amazing how many times others will follow and do the same.  It’s Mine goes right to the heart of it without sounding preachy or moralistic, while all the time remaining grounded in goodness and grace, always with the child’s perspective as its balance.  This is not one to miss!

Favorite Illustration from the Book:


‘A Color of His Own’ – Tuesday’s Look at this Book

* Every Tuesday we introduce you to a favorite book from our secret book room, and give you a unique “recipe for fun” this week over on our Book Cook page.


Today’s great book: A Color of His Own by Leo Lionni (1975, RandomHouse)

The Author’s Book Website:

Time to Read: short and sweet; bedtime or anytime

Summary:  from the author’s website…”Elephants are gray. Pigs are pink. Only the chameleon has no color of his own. He is purple like the heather, yellow like a lemon, even black and orange striped like a tiger! Then one day a chameleon has an idea to remain one color forever by staying on the greenest leaf he can find. But in the autumn, the leaf changes from green to yellow to red . . . and so does the chameleon. When another chameleon suggests they travel together, he learns that companionship is more important than having a color of his own. No matter where he goes with his new friend, they will always be alike.”

Best Quote:  “And so they remained side by side.”

Our View:  Any book by Leo Lionni is worth its weight in gold.  This particular work is among our favorites in its simplicity and colorful illustrations, as well as its profound statement of the joy that can be found in finding even one friend in this big old world.  The author’s website is a wonderful treat that your young children will really enjoy, as well.  We love this book!

Remember to visit our Book Cook page for the recipe – Grocery Store Fun – created by the kids to accompany this particular book.

Look at this Book! ‘An Extraordinary Egg’

* Every Tuesday we introduce you to a favorite book from our secret book room, and give you a unique “recipe for fun” this week over on our Book Cook page…


Today’s great book:  An Extraordinary Egg by Leo Lionni (1994, Alfred Knopf Inc.)

Time to Read: short and sweet; bedtime; when you need a good laugh

Summary: from the inside cover…”For three frogs, an ordinary day on Pebble Island becomes extraordinary when one of them discovers a beautiful white egg.  Although they’ve never seen a chicken egg, they’re sure that’s what it is.  So, when the egg hatches and out crawls a long, green, scaly, four-legged creature, they naturally call it….a chicken!”

Best Quote:  “Alligator!”  said Marilyn.  “What a silly thing to say!”  And the three frogs couldn’t stop laughing.

Our View:  Leo Lionni is a must-have children’s author for your book collection.  He has written many children’s books and all of them are worth gold.  This funny story about three frogs, one egg, a chicken, and an alligator is just right for a quick bedtime story and some wonderful belly laughs!  The artwork is colorful and simple and the case of mistaken identity that fuels the plot of this great book will really surprise you.

Remember to visit our Book Cook page for the recipe – “Alligator Baby” – created by the kids to accompany this particular book.