This is Frederick by Leo Lionni, the first book I picked for myself. I was in kindergarten, I believe, which would be either 1968 or 1969. Frederick has a specific lesson for children about how art is as important in life as bread, but there’s a secondary consideration I took away: if we pool our talents our lives are immeasurably better. Curiously, this book is the story of my life, however one interprets those things. I expect Mickey Rooney to show up any time with a barn and a plan for a show, though my mom is not making costumes.
My sisters own a toy store with a fantastic selection of imaginative children’s books. I try not to open them because I can’t close them and put them back. My tantrums are setting a bad example for the kids. Anyway, I mention this because yesterday was Mr. Rogers’ 40th anniversary. I appreciate the peaceful gentleman more as time passes, as I play with finger puppets in department meetings, as I eye hollow trees for Lady Elaine Fairchild infestations. Maybe Pete can build me trolley tracks!