Freda and the Blue Beetle – Owlkids

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Freda and the Blue Beetle

By Sophie Gilmore

From 4 to 8 | 32 pages

Freda lives in a town where people are always telling her to be more careful. But Freda loves to explore—which is how, one day, she discovers an injured beetle. She names him Ernest, feeds him, and befriends him. They become inseparable as Ernest grows ever bigger and stronger.

Noticing Ernest’s now-enormous size, the townspeople put him to work. But Ernest is strange, and has a strong appetite, and when a prize ewe goes missing, people start to talk. Freda listens to their appeals and sends her beloved friend away. But when a terrible storm puts the villagers in real danger, Freda knows who can help—and she stands up and says so. After Ernest uses his unique strength to save the day, everyone wants him to stay. But maybe this time, Freda and Ernest choose to listen to their hearts.

Illustrated in watercolor and gouache, this is a fantastical modern fable about the value of listening to your heart, not always listening to others, and making your own voice heard. Sophie Gilmore
"This story about thinking for oneself is sweetly quirky and far from saccharine." - Kirkus Reviews
"Gilmore’s lilting storybook prose is paired with earth-toned paintings that enliven the small village, its inhabitants, and Ernest’s marvelous deeds." - Publishers Weekly
"A good blend of realism and make believe for early independent reading." - School Library Journal
"A wonderfully odd gem of a story that speaks to the importance of living a just and fulfilling life on one’s own terms." - Booklist
"The underlying message of this story is about standing up for yourself, especially while scared... the bravery that it takes to listen to yourself and what you know is true is a skill that is sometimes honed by making a mistake or two along the way." - The Tiny Activist

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