The Lion and the Mouse
published in 2009

Description

In award-winning artist Jerry Pinkney's wordless adaptation of one of Aesop's most beloved fables, an unlikely pair learn that no act of kindness is ever wasted. After a ferocious lion spares a cowering mouse that he'd planned to eat, the mouse later comes to his rescue, freeing him from a poacher's trap. With vivid depictions of the landscape of the African Serengeti and expressively-drawn characters, Pinkney makes this a truly special retelling, and his stunning pictures speak volumes.

The Booknixie's Review

Meg Solley
published February 11, 2013

There is no text to read, other than some onomatopoeia (an owl says “whooo”, the poacher’s truck goes “putt-putt-putt”.) Aesop’s story is ably told by the expressive illustrations. Each picture is a work of art. My favorite has the lion, his expression both fierce and quizzical, holding the little mouse in his hand. Her eyes are huge and dark, and I can almost feel her tiny body vibrating on his hand. I am also charmed by the ending. After the mouse has freed the lion from the poacher’s net, repaying her debt, she drags one knot back to her den and the story ends with the infant joy of her children, tumbling over themselves to play with the new toy.

The Nixie does wonder if this book if this book will become a loved favorite in most homes. There’s not much joy for a parent in “reading” a book with no words. We tend to be reduced to such scintillating dialog as, “see how the mouse is scared?” “Oh look, now the lion is thanking her!” The Nixie’s own daughter, when asked for her favorite part, replied, “When the mouse said, ‘No problemo!’” (I am not proud of this interpolation.) Some children might enjoy looking at the pictures on their own--children do appreciate a beautiful drawing. But perhaps simplicity and elegance are not quite as important to most children as they are to, say, the adults on an award committee.

This is a classic fable where the roots of traditional literature are on display. The features of reading a wordless version make this book even more intriguing.
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