Author and Illustrator: Jerry Pinkney
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Copyright date: 2010
Reason for Reading: I wanted an award-winning book with no words.
My Rating: A
Genre: Early Childhood Picture Book
Book Award: Caldecott Medal for 2010
My contribution to this blog will be to exam books that have won awards. Sometimes, people (that would be me) are intimidated by award-winning books. Often the books seem hard to read and even harder to understand. So, for my first post I’m going tell you about a book that has absolutely no words in it. It’s a book we can all “read” and understand. How easy is that?
The Lion and The Mouse by Jerry Pinkney is a beautiful picture book. The story it tells is an old familiar Aesop fable. As many of you will remember, the story features two different animals you would never expect would help each other.
First we see the setting of the story, the colorful African Serengeti. As a very tiny mouse wanders through the brush, he is suddenly caught by the mighty King of the Jungle, the lion. But as the lion looks at the mouse, he decides to let the mouse go rather than eat her for lunch.
Some time later the lion steps into a trap hunters have set for him. He is dangling in a net with no way to get out. The lion’s angry roars are heard throughout the jungle. The tiny mouse recognizes the lion’s roar and rushes to help him. Through constant nibbling, the mouse is able to gnaw through the ropes and the lion is set free. And so we see that one act of kindness can be repaid by another.
As the reader looks at the drawings of watercolor and colored pencils, it’s easy to see the unfolding of the story. The detailed drawings clearly show the lush Serengeti, the expressions on the animal’s faces, and the action that is taking place.
I wish I had read this story with my five-year-old granddaughter. She would carefully study each page and then she would tell, or read, the story to me. Although the book is officially recommended for ages 4 through 8, don’t let that stop you. This award-winning book is a treat for all ages. I loved reading it for myself. The art work on each page was so amazing that I “read” the story numerous times for the sheer pleasure of it.
About the author:
Jerry Pinkney is one of children’s literature’s most time-honored artists. He has been illustrating children’s books for over 40 years and has more than 100 books to his credit. He has the rare distinction of being the recipient of five Caldecott Honor books and now, in 2010, this Caldecott Medal. He has also won the Coretta Scott King Award five times, the Coretta Scott King Honor three times, and was nominated for the prestigious international Hans Christian Anderson Award. For more about Jerry Pinkney, the covers of his books and a look at his amazing studio, visit his website at Jerry Pinkney’s Studio. (This information was gathered from his publisher and his website.)
About the award:
The Caldecott Medal recognizes the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children. It is named in honor of 19th century English illustrator Randolph Caldecott because his work best represents the “joyousness and beauty of picture books.” The Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association, presents the annual award. (This information is from the American Library Association’s website here.)
I borrowed this book from the public library, so check your own local library. Because it’s an award-winner, most libraries will have it on hand. The Lion & the Mouse is also available at Amazon. (This link leads to an affiliate program.)