The Lion & The Mouse
The Lion & The Mouse

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Annotation: In this wordless retelling of an Aesop fable, an adventuresome mouse proves that even small creatures are capable of great deeds when he rescues the King of the Jungle.
Genre: Fairy tales
Catalog Number: #38054
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Common Core/STEAM: Common Core Common Core
Copyright Date: 2009
Edition Date: 2009
Pages: 40
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 0-316-01356-0 Perma-Bound: 0-605-26136-9
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-316-01356-7 Perma-Bound: 978-0-605-26136-5
Dewey: 398.2
LCCN: 2008043852
Dimensions: 25 x 28 cm.
Language: English
Reviews:
Horn Book
By retelling Aesop's fable entirely in his signature pencil and watercolor art, Pinkney encourages closer exploration of the pleasing detail with which he amplifies it. On every page, this beautiful book suggests even more than it tells about its real setting, and about that fabulous world where rescues may happen between lion and mouse. An artist's note is appended.
Kirkus Reviews
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)
School Library Journal Starred Review
PreS-Gr 3 This story starts on the cover with the glorious, golden countenance of a lion. No text is necessary to communicate the title: the direction of the beast's gaze and the conflicted expression on his tightly cropped face compel readers to turn the book over, where a mouse, almost filling the vertical space, glances back. The endpapers and artist's note place these creatures among the animal families of the African Serengeti. Each spread contributes something new in this nearly wordless narrative, including the title opening, on which the watchful rodent pauses, resting in one of the large footprints that marches across the gutter. In some scenes, Pinkney's luminous art, rendered in watercolor and colored pencil, suggests a natural harmony, as when the cool blues of the sky are mirrored in the rocks and acacia tree. In other compositions, a cream-colored background focuses attention on the exquisitely detailed and nuanced forms of the two main characters. Varied perspectives and the judicious use of panels create interest and indicate time. Sounds are used sparingly and purposefullyan owl's hoot to hint at offstage danger or an anguished roar to alert the mouse of the lion's entrapment. Contrast this version with Pinkney's traditional treatment of the same story (complete with moral) in Aesop's Fables (North-South, 2000). The ambiguity that results from the lack of words in this version allows for a slower, subtle, and ultimately more satisfying read. Moments of humor and affection complement the drama. A classic tale from a consummate artist. Wendy Lukehart, Washington DC Public Library
Starred Review for Publishers Weekly

Other than some squeaks, hoots and one enormous roar, Pinkney's (Little Red Riding Hood) interpretation of Aesop's fable is wordless—as is its striking cover, which features only a head-on portrait of the lion's face. Mottled, tawny illustrations show a mouse unwittingly taking refuge on a lion's back as it scurries away from an owl. The large beast grabs and then releases the tiny creature, who later frees the lion who has become tangled in a hunter's snare. Pinkney enriches this classic tale of friendship with another universal theme—family—affectingly illustrated in several scenes as well as in the back endpapers, which show the lion walking with his mate and cubs as the mouse and her brood ride on his back. Pinkney's artist's note explains that he set the book in Africa's Serengeti, “with its wide horizon and abundant wildlife so awesome yet fragile—not unlike the two sides of each of the heroes.” Additional African species grace splendid panoramas that balance the many finely detailed, closeup images of the protagonists. Pinkney has no need for words; his art speaks eloquently for itself. Ages 3–6. (Sept.)

Starred Review ALA Booklist
*Starred Review* The intricate lion's face that crowds the cover of Pinkney's latest folktale adaptation is unaccompanied by any title or credits, and that is entirely appropriate ere are no words inside, either. Through illustration alone Pinkney relates the well-known Aesop fable of the mouse who is captured by a lion, only to be unexpectedly released. Then, when the lion finds himself trapped by hunters, it is the mouse who rescues him by gnawing through the twine. Pinkney bends his no-word rule a bit with a few noises that are worked into the art ("Screeeech" when an owl dives; "Putt-Putt-Putt" when the hunters' jeep arrives), but these transgressions will only encourage young listeners to get involved with read-along sessions. And involved they will be w could they not get drawn into watercolors of such detail and splendor? Pinkney's soft, multihued strokes make everything in the jungle seem alive, right down to the rocks, as he bleeds color to indicate movement, for instance, when the lion falls free from the net. His luxuriant use of close-ups humanizes his animal characters without idealizing them, and that's no mean feat. In a closing artist's note, Pinkney talks about his choice to forgo text.
Reading Level: WL
Interest Level: P-2

The Caldecott Award-winning and New York Times bestselling fable of compassion and kindness retold by acclaimed artist Jerry Pinkney.

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.


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