Frederick the Mouse: Davinci’s Desk – John McEwan-Whyte
Once upon a distant day
A mouse was born named Frederick Frey.
His mum and dad were wise and nice,
raising him up on morals and rice.
Age was gained and adventure beckoned,
“A new place to live would be fun” he reckoned,
and thus we find our charming chum,
Living his life in a museum.
A mouse who is small in size, but big in heart takes centre stage in John McEwan-Whyte’s debut children’s book.
Frederick the mouse resides in the famous Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum along with his best friend, Jeremy the elephant. Using his quick wit, mischievous nature and cheeky grin, Frederick finds new adventures everywhere, all under the watchful eye of the museum janitor, Henry.
In Davinci’s Desk, Frederick investigates the appearance of a new exhibit to the museum; the very desk that Leonardo Davinci used to create his artistic masterpieces. One priceless broken drawer later and Frederick finds himself transported to 15th century Florence, where he falls under the care of the great thinker himself.
As readers follow the large-eared explorer on his journey, they learn more about the famed Davinci, how Frederick played an important part in the creation of the most famous painting in the world and how important friendship is to a person whether they be a bushy-bearded inventor or a cheese-inclined mouse.
Frederick the Mouse is a heart-warming tale of adventure and friendships, which also covers interesting subjects ranging from Italian phrases to mathematical ratios. Readers are left with more knowledge than when they embarked upon the adventure of a lifetime with their new favourite character, Frederick the mouse.
Designed to be a book for young readers to grow up with, Frederick the Mouse contains a number of beautiful illustrations that will captivate readers’ attention. It will appeal to a wide range of young readers, particularly those that enjoy animal and adventure stories.
About the Author
John McEwan-Whyte studied Physics at the university of Glasgow and has been writing for stage and film for the past 8 years, cutting his teeth as a script writer for the production company Redeeming Features.
Frederick the Mouse is a character John created after releasing a captured mouse on the steps of Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, planting a seed of an idea in his mind that eventually grew into the concept of a cheeky mouse called Frederick creating a life for himself amongst the many different exhibits.
A physics degree coupled with experience as an outdoor education teacher in Australia provided John with the knowledge and skills to create a book that children will love to read whilst naive to the fact that they are learning at the same time.
BANG. Frederick the mouse awoke with a jump. BANG. BANG. Reluctantly he rolled, out of his little matchbox bed, nibbled on a little leftover cheese, and stretched his little arms and little legs. He could tell from the quiet of his home that it was early in the day. ‘Home’ to Frederick; ‘the Kelvingrove Museum’ to those peculiar looking hairless giants. Whatever the name, it was where Frederick lived, ate, slept, and most important of all, adventured. BANG, another thump, shaking the floor beneath him. What in cheddars name is going on?! the little grey mouse thought to himself. BANG, another tremble of the room, knocking over his bottle cap full of water which he liked to keep beside his bed. This time, however, Frederick made sure to note which direction the noise came from. Downstairs, he thought, and with that, he was off.
Now, as already said, this museum was Frederick’s home and in every home there are secrets. There are hiding places, shortcuts, cupboards piled high with broken toys or smelly pillows, dark and scary basements, cold and dusty attics… all things that only the person who calls it home knows about. Just like you know your home so well, Frederick knew his, but mainly, he knew how to get to places fast. Often, mice are described as scurrying. To a peculiar looking hairless giant, you or me, that may be true, but if you were to inform a mouse running at his fastest pace that he was scurrying you might as well be calling him a cat. When a mouse runs, it doesn’t think of it as scurrying, it thinks of it as galloping. Moving its legs at the fastest pace possible, wind rushing past his face, ears aerodynamically pinned to the sides… to describe such an act as scurrying is similar to describing a pyramid as a really big triangle. Thus, Frederick galloped from one side of his bedroom to the other, out his front door, around the clumping feet of today’s museum visitors, across the marble floor, up the pillar, along the banister and across the sea of floating faces the PLIHGs (Peculiar Looking Hairless Giants) called “art” and onto his favourite viewing point atop Jeremy’s head.
Now, before we continue, we must introduce and explain Frederick’s best friend Jeremy, the stalwart protector of Frederick’s mighty home. Jeremy was a one tonne, five metre, two tusked, four footed elephant standing proudly at the centre of the west hall. He no longer moved as much as he did in his youth, but his stationary position and quiet wisdom were the reasons Frederick was so fond of him.
Atop Jeremy’s head, Frederick watched and discovered the origin of these whisker quivering bangs; the museum was getting a new exhibit, and the PLIHGS (“Most likely proud cat owners,” Frederick sassily whispered to Jeremy.) were being less than careful whilst moving in these latest items. “Well, at least the museum is getting their money’s worth,” Frederick mumbled. “If they continue like this they’ll be getting three items instead of one”. With this, our little hero rolled onto his back, giggling ferociously. Jeremy was always the best audience for his jokes, and although he didn’t often say anything, Frederick could tell he enjoyed the joviality. One of the reasons Frederick liked Jeremy so much was because he never told him to be quiet.
Some would consider a mouse and an elephant an odd friendship, but the only reason it could be considered odd is because of the vicious rumour (vicious because Frederick knew it hurt Jeremy’s feelings) that elephants are frighteningly afraid of mice. The only reason this tall tale started was because in the days of elephants working for circuses, the owners would chain them in small cages. Mice would get into these cages and nibble away at the elephants’ feet, a poor replacement for cheese. Obviously these elephants couldn’t jump onto a chair or run to another room so over time they grew a strong sense of terror at the sight of a mouse. This was a nasty period in the history of elephant-mice relations, but one that was over, and one that Frederick never likes to bring up as it can ruin the mood of his best friend.
Frederick eventually finished his laugh, wiped away his tears and decided to investigate just what this strange new exhibit was. He waited for these suspected cat owners to finish their business and made his move. Paws first, our little guardian of all that’s good and proper, slid down his best friend’s long trunk and landed with grace at the feet of an Elvis Statue. His journey, however, was brought to a sudden halt by the appearance of the janitor of the museum; Henry.