Have you heard the story of Frederick, by Leo Lionni?
It’s a story about a group of little mice preparing for winter. They are stocking up on supplies.
One of the mice Federick, collects a rainbow of colours, the warmth of the sun, and beautiful words, instead of wheat, berries and nuts.
When winter arrives and the little mice are holed up and waiting for warmer weather, but the greyness and the cold put them in a bad mood, until Frederick, the poet mouse, generously shares his supplies, evoking for his friends the characteristics of each season, helping them to go through winter with confidence that spring will arrive, sooner or later.
In the short video above, Frederick is Ufufu. The tale is narrated in isiXhosa by Wendy, while Annalisa pages through the book.
The video, recorded in Cape Town, South Africa, forms part of the Special Night of Tales promoted by the City of Reggio Emilia, Foundation Reggio Children –Loris Malaguzzi Centre, and by many other entities for the night of 3rd April 2020, when – in South Africa as in Italy and in many other countries – people had to stay home to prevent the spread of Coronavirus.
The theme, Under a Roof of Stories, expresses the wish for all to be together, close although separated, to share stories and, through their poetry, to inspire confidence and hope. In the words of the organisers: “In this period of social distancing we all need to be surrounded by the colours of the world, to narrate life, to think about the future”.
That’s why we immediately thought about Ufufu / Frederick. And we were not alone in that! Listen to the magically beautiful version of this story narrated in Italian by Monica Morini, and do not miss the other 24 tales sent from every corner of the planet, in many different languages, here.
The event in which we took part was a special edition of the Night of Tales. In its original form, the Night “is an event happening every year near the 23rd February to celebrate the birthday of Loris Malaguzzi, pedagogist, developer of the Reggio Approach. Families are invited to share tales and narrations in their homes, hosting friends and acquaintances. Reggionarra proposes, at each edition, a theme as well as a bibliography, and invites to read, narrate and listen to stories all together, at the same time, in Italy, in Europe and in the whole world.”