Together Mayra Calvani and K. C. Snider have brought a sweet little mouse to life. Not only is Frederico sweet and cute, he is extremely persistent and talented. Mayra obliquely spotlights a historically famous musical figure, Antonio Stradivari. K. C.’s pictures are warm and friendly and give Frederico a charming personality as well as showing an authentic-looking workshop. This Guardian Angel Publishing picture book introduces kids to new words and an interesting profession.
Frederico lives in the workshop of Antonio Stradivari, the Italian luthier, that is to say, violin maker. Frederico loves everything about violins—the smell of wood and the oil to make it shiny, the various parts of the violin, and the beautiful sounds that come out of the finished product.
At night, when he has the workshop to himself, Frederico plays around on the violin that Stradivari made. By touching all of the parts of the violin, Frederico gives the reader of the book a guided tour of a violin. We learn about the Scroll, the Strings, the Fingerboard, and the Pegs that tune the sounds to a high or low pitch. When Frederico slides down the strings he trips on the Bridge, which keeps the strings from lying flat on the violin. He peeks into the F-hole “. . . the secret, magical place where the sound comes out!” And he daydreams relaxing on the Tailpiece.
He daydreams about becoming a virtuoso, that is a great violinist.
This is when Frederico’s persistence pays off. Even though it was difficult playing the large people-sized violin, he practiced and practiced. And his talent emerged.
When Stradivari sees Frederico playing the violin, the luthier is impressed with the little mouse’s skill and decides to build a violin to fit little paws. He presents his gift in a beautiful, tiny box.
Stradivari knows that Frederico is pleased with the gift of the tiny violin because:
“Frederico lifted the instrument and began to play. The notes swirled about him in a cloud of pure joy as Frederico moved the bow over the strings.”
This book is available at the Guardian Angel Bookstore http://www.guardianangelpublishing.com/frederico.htm , Amazon, and Barnes and Noble.
I purchased this book and give my comments freely.