The Lion and the Mouse
- Author: Jerry Pinkney
- Publisher: Little, Brown & Company
- Published: September 2009
- ISBN-10: 0316013560
- ISBN-13: 9780316013567
- Format: Oversize Hardcover
- Copyright: 2009
- Subject: JUVENILE FICTION / Legends, Myths, Fables / General
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Paintings give life to Aesop's fable of a tiny friend who helps a King in need. (Ages: 3-6).
A nearly wordless exploration of Aesop's fable of symbiotic mercy that is nothing short of masterful. A mouse, narrowly escaping an owl at dawn, skitters up what prove to be a male lion's tail and back. Lion releases Mouse in a moment of bemused gentility and—when subsequently ensnared in a poacher's rope trap—reaps the benefit thereof. Pinkney successfully blends anthropomorphism and realism, depicting Lion's massive paws and Mouse's pink inner ears along with expressions encompassing the quizzical, hapless and nearly smiling. He plays, too, with perspective, alternating foreground views of Mouse amid tall grasses with layered panoramas of the Serengeti plain and its multitudinous wildlife. Mouse, befitting her courage, is often depicted heroically large relative to Lion. Spreads in watercolor and pencil employ a palette of glowing amber, mouse-brown and blue-green. Artist-rendered display type ranges from a protracted "RRROAARRRRRRRRR" to nine petite squeaks from as many mouselings. If the five cubs in the back endpapers are a surprise, the mouse family of ten, perched on the ridge of father lion's back, is sheer delight. Unimpeachable. (author's note) (Picture book. 3-6) Copyright Kirkus 2009 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.
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Roar and SqueakAesop’s fable about one of the smallest, weakest creatures helping one of the mightiest is given the lush treatment in this nearly wordless recreation by Jerry Pinkney. Mr. Pinkney is skilled enough to let images do the talking. Even the front cover has no wording on it—simply images of the two main characters staring at one another across the spine. The African savannah comes alive in vivid watercolor as we see lions, zebras, giraffes, ostriches, gnus, elephants, screech owls, frogs, insects and, yes, the titular mouse go about their daily lives. The pictures are exquisitely rendered; you swear you can see every brush stroke in the lion’s tawny hide and bushy mane and the mouse’s gray fur. The story is brilliantly done as well, as we watch as a small mouse escape from one danger to scamper unwittingly into another and how the magnanimous King of the Beasts is rewarded for his amused benevolence. The tale spans the entire book, from the endpaper at the front showing various animals in Africa to the endpaper in the back as we see the proud lion walk off with his family, no doubt recounting to his mate and cubs about his amazing escape from human hunters, with the mouse and his family riding on his back. This is more than a book for children. It is an art book that deserves to be spread across a tabletop where everyone can see it.