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The Lion & the Mouse Hardcover – September 1, 2009

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 1 and up
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (September 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780316013567
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316013567
  • ASIN: 0316013560
  • Product Dimensions: 9.8 x 0.5 x 11.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (168 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,118 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Starred Review. PreSchool-Grade 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 purposefully—an 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 END


* "Pinkney enriches this classic tale of friendship with another universal theme - family - affectingly illustrated in several scenes as well as in the back endpapers... 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."—Publishers Weekly, starred review

* "A nearly wordless exploration of Aesop's fable of symbiotic mercy that is nothing short of masterful... Unimpeachable."—Kirkus Reviews, starred review

* "Pinkney's luminous art, rendered in watercolor and colored pencil, suggests a natural harmony... 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."—School Library Journal, starred review

* "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... It will be a challenge for libraries to make every gorgeous surface available, but it's a challenge worth taking on."—The Horn Book, starred review

More About the Author

A native of Philadelphia, Jerry studied at the Philadelphia College of Art (now the University of the Arts) where, in 1992 he received the Alumni Award. He has been illustrating children's books since 1964, illustrating over one hundred titles, and earned the Caldecott Medal for his nearly wordless picture book The Lion & the Mouse in 2010. Among his many other accolades he has also been the recipient of five Caldecott Honor Medals, five Coretta Scott King Awards and four Coretta Scott King Honors, five New York Times Best Illustrated Book awards, and in 2006 the Original Art's Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society of Illustrators, New York, NY.
In addition to his work in children's books, Jerry has had over thirty one-man retrospectives at venues ranging from the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL to the California African American Museum, Los Angeles, CA. He has exhibited in over one hundred group shows in the USA, Japan, Russia, Italy, Taiwan and Jamaica. Jerry has illustrated for a wide variety of clients, including the U.S. Postal Service, National Park Service, and National Geographic. Jerry created art for the Harry Chapin Run Against Hunger commemorative poster, a foundation that helps bring food to those in need. He was invited to create a painting for the 30th Bologna Book Fait, Bologna, Italy and the NASA Art Collection at the John F. Kennedy Space Center. He was appointed to serve on the U.S. Postal Services Citizens Stamp Advisory Committee (1982-1992). In 2001 Jerry was invited by Laura Bush to illustrate and design the White House Christmas Program. He has held professorships teaching art at Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY; the University of Delaware, Newark, DE; and the University of Buffalo, Buffalo, NY. In 2003, Jerry was appointed to the National Council of the Arts - NEA (2003-2009). His art can be found in the permanent collections at the Library of Congress, the New York Public Library, the Delaware Art Museum and the Brandywine River Art Museum.
His works have been featured in The New York Times, Arts Section, American Artists Magazine, The Horn Book Magazine, The CBS Sunday Morning Show and PBS Reading Rainbow Room. Pinkney is also a past trustee for the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art and the Katonah Museum of Art. He lives with his wife, author Gloria Jean, in Westchester County, NY.

Customer Reviews

My 2 year old daughter loves this book.
Nancy M.
This is a beautifully illustrated picture book that encourages the observer to use the pictures to tell their own story of "The Lion and the Mouse".
R. Fischer
It is a wordless book but by the very detailed illustrations it tells the story without using any words.
genesis ovando

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

199 of 217 people found the following review helpful By E. R. Bird HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on September 2, 2009
Format: Hardcover
How trustworthy do you find a reviewer who loves a particular author's work, praises it regularly, and then reviews that writer's next book with predictable kisses, cheers, and thrown rose petals? I admit that I am usually that exact reviewing type. If I like someone's work, I'm more likely to review that same person in the future. That's just how the game goes. But for once, I think I should point out that a positive review is all the MORE impressive when it comes from someone who not usually a fan of a particular author or illustrator. Take Jerry Pinkney, for example. The bloke has won his own fair share of Caldecott Honors in his day. He is prolific. He has an eye for a good story. But prior to the publication of The Lion and the Mouse I would have to admit that the only picture book of his that I really truly enjoyed was his version of Little Red Riding Hood and even that wasn't one of my favorite books of its year. I say all this not to degrade Mr. Pinkney but to point out that his newest book has a singular ability to do something most artists do not even hope to try for. It is appealing to both die-hard Pinkney fans and the folks who could take him or leave him. Everybody likes this book. It's actually a little weird, but who are we to argue? The Lion and the Mouse takes a classic Aesop tale and spins it into wordless picture book gold. A must have, and a must purchase.

Set against the African Serengeti of Tanzania and Kenya, a single small mouse escapes the claws of a hungry owl, only to find herself trapped within the paw of a huge lion. On a whim, the lion lets the mouse go and then sets about his merry way.
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43 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Gail Cooke HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 8, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This particular Aesop fable is familiar to most - the story of a wee, insignificant mouse who happens to disturb a lion. Well, of course, the little mouse is a mere tidbit for the lion. Nonetheless, this magnificent king of the jungle decides to let the little fellow go.

Later, the lion is entrapped by poachers and the little mouse remembers the lion's kindness and manages to set the lion free. There is so much to be learned from this fable and there are many different interpretations of the story. This wordless version by noted artist Jerry Pinkney is remarkable not only for the beauty of Pinkney's work but because it allows the reader or in this case story teller to offer a different narrative each time the book is shown. One never tires of looking at the artist's stunning full page paintings, and young listeners don't tire of hearing the story over and over again, each time with a slightly different twist.

The mantel at Pinkney's home must sag with the numerous awards he has received - four New York Times Best Illustrated Awards, five Caldecott and Coretta Scott King Awards, etc. All so richly deserved. Since I've no trophy to offer I merely send thanks for one more beautifully illustrated book that will become a part of our permanent collection.

- Gail Cooke
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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Mary Kate on September 20, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Pencil, watercolor and colored pencils on paper...

That's all that was used to create the new children's book, The Lion & The Mouse. But those simple tools were being wielded in the hands of Jerry Pinkney and that, apparently, was enough. The magical combination of the artist and his skill, of tool and medium has resulted in a masterpiece of beauty and creativity.

Because this retelling of Aesop's fable is presented here with almost no words, it will challenge parents, teachers and others doing the "reading" to find words worthy of doing justice to Pinkney's art. It's just that gorgeous.

I've never encountered Pinkney's work previously and am now looking forward to discovering what other wonders have come from his hands and to collecting and sharing them.

And though it goes against all my beliefs as to how a book should be treated, I'm considering purchasing an additional copy solely to snag the dust jacket and have the cover art matted and framed. I simply can't take my eyes off it!

Highly recommended!
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Format: Hardcover
The African countryside was teeming with life. A pair of red-necked ostriches and a family of zebras leisurely stood in the grass while a giraffe family loped through the grass in the background. An eland and her fawn watched a baboon stroll by with her baby on her back. An African water buffalo stared at a lion family while the elephants trumpeted in the distance. When night rolled around and the moon rose all was quiet and a mouse came out of her rock den to look over the landscape. When the light was out an owl came swooping down to catch her and she narrowly escaped her clutches, but ended up in the lion's. "GRRR."

He teased her a bit and when he let her loose she ran back to her babies. "Squeak, squeak, squeak . . . " The proud lion roamed the grasses, but elsewhere some poachers began to set a rope trap, hopefully to catch him. He wandered into a wooded area where the baboons and crows watched him. The trap was weighted and when he stepped on the trap . . . whoosh! He was pulled up and he roared in anger and fear. "RRROAARRRRRRRRR! The little mouse heard him and quickly ran to help him. "Scratch, scratch." Would such a little creature be able to free the king of the jungle?

This beautifully illustrated and practically wordless tale illustrates the kindheartedness that one creature can show to another, despite differences. It is directly patterned after Aesop's fable, "The Lion and the Mouse." This is the type of wordless tale that can be retold by any adult to a young child from his or her own perspective. Each person can say what the fable of the lion and the mouse means to them in their own life. This gorgeous book is so sweepingly beautiful that few people would want to pass it up for their personal library!
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