This Caldecott Medal winning book is superb. I have always been a fan of Jerry Pinkney’s illustrations, but this book is truly beautiful. The Lion & the Mouse is a wordless retelling of Aesop’s fable of a lion who spares a mouse’s life and then has his life saved by the mouse. The moral of the story? “Even the strongest can sometimes use the help of the smallest.”
The illustrations in this book are breathtaking. I love watching my students intently look at each page and then listening as they recount the story to me. Pinkney says in his author’s note at the end of the book, “My curiosity and reverence for animal life has grown over the years, and my concern for them grows in equal measure. It seemed fitting, then to stage this fable in the African Serengeti of Tanzania and Kenya, with its wide horizon and abundant wildlife so awesome yet fragile – not unlike the two sides of each of the heroes starring in this great tale for all times.” It is clear that Pinkney loves animals, because I honestly believe that the detail is so wonderful in these pictures, that I can read the animals’ expressions.
This is a book that would be an incredible addition to any child’s library.