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Friday Flips #18: More Books by Leo Lionni

When one of my friends informed me that Uniqlo recently launched a new range of Leo Lionni graphic t-shirts for ladies and children, I went on a shopping spree to get matching mother-son tees. I initially only planned on getting two: Little Blue and Little Yellow, as well as A Colour of His Own, since we really enjoyed reading them previously (check out Friday Flips #15 here to read the review), but ending up getting a couple more t-shirts, because they were simply too cute. After that, I went on a mission to get the books, so that I could read them to Noah, before getting him to wear the tees.

It sounds frivolous, I know, but I’m really glad I did, because we really liked the three new Leo Lionni books! I think our new favourite is Swimmy, because Noah asks to wear the t-shirt each time he sees it in the drawer, and has been flipping through the book on his own quite often.

Swimmy is about a tiny black fish, who loses his entire family of little red fish to a hungry tuna fish. Instead of feeling sorry for himself and hiding, he goes on swimming, and meets various beautiful sea creatures along the way. When he finally comes across another large school of little red fish, he comes up with a brilliant idea to outsmart the larger fish, so that he and his new friends no longer have to live in fear of being eaten up by them.

The illustrations were really pretty, and Noah had fun trying to spot Swimmy on every page. He also seemed to really like the fact that Swimmy was faster than all his brothers and sisters, and would trace imaginary paths on the pages for Swimmy to zoom around on.







Ready to read Swimmy for the nth time


Finding Swimmy





In our matching Swimmy tees from Uniqlo


Alexander and the Wind-Up Mouse is probably Noah’s next favourite Leo Lionni book, perhaps because of the magical, colourful lizard. I think he was really captivated by the story, because he randomly recounted the story to me one day during lunch, after seeing something purple! He told me that he felt bad for Willy the wind-up mouse, because he was thrown away into a box, and was “going to become rubbish”. Thankfully, “the mouse found the purple pebble and the lizard changed his friend into another mouse, then they danced together happily”. Haha. Yes, that’s the plot in a nutshell!

Alexander and the Wind-Up Mouse






“There’s the purple pebble!”


Checking out the colourful lizard


When I first read Frederick, I admit that I thought that story was similar to that of The Ant and the Grasshopper. After all, there was a seemingly lazy character (Frederick), who didn’t do a thing as the others scampered around stocking up for the coming winter. What surprised me was that the other four mice shared their stash of food with Frederick, despite his lack of contribution, and I thought it was a good opportunity for me to talk to Noah about sharing as well. Finally, when Frederick used his words to provide his four friends with something as valuable as the food they had, I was won over by him. Everyone can contribute something, and it doesn’t always have to be something traditional or practical, as Frederick shows in this story.






Can we read now please?


Reading Frederick


Spotting the odd one out


I haven’t gotten round to getting the other Leo Lionni books, but when I do, I’ll definitely do another Friday Flips post on them!

Happy reading!

PS. I managed to get the two Leo Lionni readers from Popular, after another mum tipped me off about them. They were the last two copies I could find at the Bras Basah store, and I can’t seem to find any other titles at any of the other branches that I’ve visited so far. I thought the readers were quite nice as they had bonus activities at the end of each book, which Noah quite enjoyed.

PPS. The Leo Lionni tees are on sale at Uniqlo! The women’s tees are going for $14.90, while the kids’ ones are $7.90 (down from $24.90 and $12.90 respectively).

Buy the Book Swimmy

on Amazon Swimmy on Book Depository Alexander and the Wind-Up Mouse

on Amazon Alexander and the Wind-Up Mouse on Book Depository Frederick

on Amazon Frederick on Book Depository

Borrow the Book Swimmy / Junior Lending Picture Book / English LIO / Check for availability here Alexander and the Wind-Up Mouse / Junior Lending Picture Book / English LIO / Check for availability here Frederick / Junior Lending Picture Book / English LIO / Check for availability here

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