The Lion & the MouseFall 2009 Picture Books
Ages: 3 - 6 yrs.
Author: Jerry Pinkney
Illustrator: Jerry Pinkney
Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Hardcover Price: $16.99
Review:Jerry's Pinkney's sumptuous cinematic version of the familiar Aesop fable about a lion whose kindness in allowing a tiny mouse to live is later rewarded when the mouse frees him from a trap needs not a single (human) word to tell the story. Even the front and back images on the jacket eschew the title in favor of close-ups of the golden-maned king of beasts and the tiny brown rodent (both drawn to a scale that makes them equals), and though the text contains a scattering of animal sounds ("WHO Who whoooo," "Screeeech," "GRRR,"), the storytelling is all in the pictures. Alternating between sweeping panoramas that set the stage and panels that move the action forward, readers--even those few unfamiliar with the written text--will easily follow the narrative. Tiny details--the mouse first appears on the title page dwarfed inside a single leonine paw print, the hunters who arrive with their nets and traps are faceless, universal predators--underscore the dynamics and the drama with breathtaking results. A magnificent realization of an ancient tale that never grows old.
Kristi Elle Jemtegaard ©2009 Parents' Choice
Kristi Elle Jemtegaard is the Coordinator of Youth Services for the Arlington Public Library system. She has taught courses on children’s and young adult literature at the Catholic University of America and the University of Virginia. She has served on both the Newbery and Caldecott Award Committees of the American Library Association and has chaired the Notable Children’s Recordings Committee and the May Hill Arbuthnot Award Committee. She is a member and past president of the Children’s Book Guild of Washington DC and has chaired the Washington Post–Book Guild Nonfiction Award Committee. She is a founding member of Capitol Choices, an organization of professionals in the field of children’s literature in the greater Washington DC area. She regularly reviews children’s literature and audio productions for a variety of national publications.
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