It's Mine: This book is for PreSchool-Grade 1. In this story three frogs spend their days quarreling among themselves and claiming the earth, water and air as theirs. It's mine, each one claims. Then one day a toad comes to them.
"I live on the other side of the island," he said, "but I can hear you shouting 'It's mine! It's mine! It's mine! all day long. There is no peace because of your endless bickering."
When it rains so much the land disappears, they are saved by the toad. They have learned their lesson and get along. The story is cute and will remind you of some young ones you know. I love the way Lionni creates the simple pictures for his books. He used collages of marbled-textured paper, in vibrant colors against a bright white background.
Frederick: This is a cute story of a little mouse, Frederick, who dream and writes poetry while the other mice are laying in food for the winter. When asked what he is doing he replies:
"I gather sun rays for the cold dark winter days."
"I gather colors, for winter is gray."
"Oh no, I am gathering words. For the winter days are long and many, and we'll run out of things to say."
So when winter rolls around and all is gray and bleak, it is Frederick who feeds their souls with the supplies he gathered. This book is a Caldecott Honor Book; an ALA Notable Children's Book; and a New York Times Best Illustrated Children's Book of the Year. It is wonderful for teaching about the importance of creativity. The language is simple and engaging, the illustrations are simple and full of texture.
A Flea Story: This is a cute story about friendship, differences and adventure. The main characters are never seen, only speech bubbles with their words point to where they are. The two fleas have different personalities and different outlooks on life but are able to remain friends. You can see their differences on the front cover of the book:
"I want to go there!" "I want to stay here!"
Once again the illustrations are cut paper in wonderful colors and textures.
I have read several of Lionni's books over the years and have come back to some of them time after time. I decided for this post to read three of his books that I hadn't previously read. I wish I'd read these sooner they are all three charming.