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Kid Konnection: Young Fredle

January 29, 2011

Fredle is a kitchen mouse, so his whole world consists of sleeping in a cozy nest with his family by day and foraging the kitchen for food at night.  When he and his cousin Axle get into something they shouldn’t, they’re left for “went,” and he finds himself outside for the first time in his life.

Outside is full of new dangers and new adventures, but Fredle finds himself homesick and lonely.  He wants to get home in the worst way.  Not only does he have to figure out a way to get there, he also has to figure out how to survive until he does.

I was excited to read Young Fredle by Cynthia Voigt, since she is a past Newbery Medal winner, but I’m sad to say the book didn’t live up to my expectations.  I love the premise of the story and I think it has some good lessons for children on the value of rules and on accepting change, but I thought the pacing of the story was slow and laborious.  I also found some of the phrasing a little odd – for instance “went” is used for died.

I did enjoy the fact that Fredle liked to explore and loved discovering new things and I think children will enjoy figuring out what some of those new things are before Fredle does.  This book is really for quiet, introspective readers, and I wonder how many of them there are in its target audience of middle grade readers.

There are beautiful black and white drawings by Louise Yates throughout the book that are a real treat to look at.  I just wish there had been more illustrations and less story in the book.

For more children’s books reviews, go to Booking Mama’s feature, Kid Konnection. If you’d like to participate in Kid Konnection and share a post about anything related to children’s books (picture, middle grade, or young adult) from the past week,  leave a comment as well as a link on her site.

Review copy provided by Amazon Vine.  I am an Indiebound Affiliate.
15 Comments leave one →
  1. January 29, 2011 5:19 am

    Sorry to hear it was bit slow for you. It sounds like a lovely book.

  2. January 29, 2011 8:06 am

    Sounds cute in a way, but the kids want quiet

  3. January 29, 2011 9:00 am

    Yeah — I’m not sure either of my kids would pick up this book. It’s sad but I think many kids today just want more action!

  4. January 29, 2011 9:07 am

    I’ve had the same experience – going for books by a Newbery winner only to be disappointed in the non-Newbery book. Somehow it makes it worse!

  5. January 29, 2011 11:50 am

    Sounds like a hard one to convince my middle grade readers to try.

  6. January 29, 2011 1:40 pm

    Well darn it….I thought it sounded cute also. Very different from her Dicey’s Song books, huh?

  7. January 29, 2011 2:29 pm

    Couldn’t help thinking of my sister who found a mouse in her kitchen and ended up on a chair while the little thing frantically searched for its exit. Then, after the landlord had an exterminator come, she found,one morning, a baby mouse breathing laboriously as it was taking its last breath and she was in tears and felt horrible. Quite the mice adventures! Maybe this would have made a better story!

  8. January 29, 2011 4:38 pm

    It bites when a book does not live up to our expectations.
    Too bad, oh well chalk it up for reading experience gone awry.

  9. January 29, 2011 5:49 pm

    Good to know this one doesn’t come out so great. It has a really attractive and cute cover design.

  10. January 29, 2011 8:34 pm

    Loved your honesty here and I have to say that if it doesn’t grab them (middle schoolers) they’re more often than not going to return the book.

  11. January 30, 2011 8:36 am

    I’m sorry this one didn’t work well for you. 😦

  12. January 30, 2011 6:07 pm

    Oh, I am sorry to hear that this was not what you had been expecting! I think pacing is very important for children’s books, and it sounds like this one was a little off. Thanks for being honest about it though. I can imagine that I probably won’t look for this one when I am buying books for my nephew.

  13. February 1, 2011 1:25 pm

    Well the cover is charming but too bad the work didn’t work that well for you.

  14. February 2, 2011 11:04 am

    That’s too bad. Sounds like it had a lot of potential and looks like there must be plenty of beautiful illustrations.

  15. February 9, 2011 11:37 am

    I appreciate that this wasn’t one of your favorites, but I’m compelled to check it out. I’ve really got a thing lately for Mouse Literature!

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