The Lion and the Mouse

Adults may remember hearing the tale of The Lion and the Mouse long ago through Aesop’s fables. Now, Jerry Pinkney has brought the tale back to life in his book—what else?—The Lion and the Mouse. The story itself never grows old because there is much to be learned from it, even if children don’t realize it right away. The lion is the king of the jungle (or in this case, the wide open plains of the African Serengeti) and when a mouse stumbles into his midst, he considers eating him for a bit of a snack. However, he decides to let the mouse go.

But when poachers catch the lion, all seems lost. Until the most surprising little character shows up! The little creature frees the king of the Serengeti, showing that a good deed is repaid by another. Kindness is repaid in kind.

The thing that children may love the most about this title is not necessarily the story, but the illustrations by Jerry Pinkney. The images are large, filling the entire page, and in fact this story comes with virtually no words at all. Instead, children are encouraged to roar and squeak along with the main characters, as well as make other animal noises as the turn the pages. Pinkney uses sweeping watercolors to bring the images to life, echoing the reality of the Serengeti as the plains mesh with marshland and animals roam freely over the landscape.

Such high quality childrens books like this are hard to come by. Written for children ages 4-6, kids can get different point-of-views and imagine how big a lion might be with a mouse so small perched upon his paw. It ignites imaginations with bright colors and so few words. Even the back of the dust cover contains an extra treat; a painting that echoes Edward Hick’s Peaceable Kingdom painting of animal of the while Serengeti. Don’t be surprised to find your kids spending hours gazing at the pictures contained within The Lion and the Mouse. Who knows? Adults might end up doing the very same thing!

The Lion and the Mouse

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