Review of Frederico the Mouse Violinist

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 , Amazon, and Barnes and Noble.


I purchased this book and give my comments freely.


14 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Mirka Breen
    May 19, 2012 @ 12:16:58

    This is one I will purchase too. We know a few mouse violinists who would appreciate this lovely book.


  2. Diane Kress Hower
    May 19, 2012 @ 14:49:48

    Barbara – Thanks for sharing. My brother made and repaired violins. This looks to be a beautiful book and story. I will put it on my wish list!


  3. susan Hornbach
    May 19, 2012 @ 16:19:56

    This sounds like a wonderful story. My daughter and I both took violin lessons when she was small so I could always help her practice. I’m sure she would love to have a copy of this book. KC, the pictures are superb. You draw one beautiful violin!


  4. evelynchristensen
    May 19, 2012 @ 17:33:43

    Barbara, this is clearly a lovely book, both for musicians and non-musicians. Thank you for sharing it with us.


  5. Margot Finke
    May 19, 2012 @ 17:54:55

    Wonderful story and illustrations. I simply loved it. Highly recommended as a delightful read.

    *Books for Kids – Manuscript Critiques
    *Virtual School Visits – SKYPE makes it happen


  6. Janet Ann Collins
    May 19, 2012 @ 21:09:46

    This sounds like a cute book.


  7. Nancy Stewart
    May 20, 2012 @ 07:26:54

    Such a lovely book and the illustrations are gorgeous. The whole idea of the book is appealing! Thanks to all three of you for the review and book!


  8. tinamcho
    May 20, 2012 @ 08:36:34

    This looks like a great book, Barbara. I might purchase it for my daughter, who’s been learning to play violin! Wonderful history plus learning about the violin in a fun way. Great job, Mayra!


  9. thedarkphantom
    May 20, 2012 @ 11:01:36

    Dear Barbara,

    This is so weird…yesterday I left a comment from my ipad, but I see now it didn’t get through. Oh well… WordPress!

    Thank you so much for the lovely review! I really appreciate it!

    Thank you, ladies, for stopping by and for your kind comments!

    Warm regards to all,



  10. barbarabockman
    May 20, 2012 @ 14:13:17

    You let your mask slip and now we all know who the Dark Phantom is. Isn’t it nice that so many people enjoyed learning about yours and KC’s book.
    Thanks for letting me review Frederico, the Mouse Violinist.

    Let me know if the “little mice” enjoy the book.

    As a musical person with musical relatives, you could’t wish for a better book.

    How wonderful that you took violin lessons along with your daughter. I know both of you and she would enjoy this book.

    You are right about that–and for young and old.

    Thanks for your comment and recommendations.

    Janet Ann,
    I can attest to that–it is a cute book.

    The idea of showing and telling about famous people and/or events through fiction is a great way to interest children in those things and hopefully pique their interest for more as they grow older.

    As a violinist, your daughter will no doubt find this book enjoyable and knowledgeable.

    Thanks to all who commented and best of luck to Myra and KC with the book.


  11. karencv
    May 20, 2012 @ 14:28:02

    Barbara, I also read and reviewed Frederico and it’s a wonderful picture book.


  12. barbarabockman
    May 20, 2012 @ 22:57:16

    Hi Karen,
    This terrific book can’t get too many reviews. I’m sure Mayra and KC will agree.
    Thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment.


  13. Rita Conner
    May 30, 2012 @ 08:05:04

    A book that is appealing and leaves you wanting more.


  14. barbarabockman
    May 31, 2012 @ 19:30:28

    Believe me, Rita, it is a fun and informative book.


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