An Award Winning Book: The Lion and the Mouse

Author and Illustrator: Jerry Pinkney

Publisher: Little, Brown and Company

Copyright date: 2010

Pages: 40

Format: Hardcover

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.)

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About Margot

I'm also known as Joyfully Retired. I love to talk. I love to talk about books I've read, movies I've seen, places I've traveled to, people (especially my children and grandchildren), and Food. On the Quirky Girls Read blog I'm trying to read all the books that have won the major awards and then, of course, talk about them.
This entry was posted in Award Winners, Fiction, Posts by Margot. Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to An Award Winning Book: The Lion and the Mouse

  1. jehara says:

    I adored Aesop Fables as a child. The book sounds beautiful.

  2. Staci says:

    I have looked at other books by Pinkney and they’re wonderful!! Lovely review 😀

  3. Margot says:

    Jehara:
    I love Aesop’s Fables too. The stories are timeless.
    Staci:
    Pinkney’s art is so beautiful. It reaches out and grabs me. So glad you came to visit me here.

  4. marthalama says:

    My kids all grown up but I’m lucky enough to have a little day care where I get a chance to read these wonderful books to my little ones. I love a beautifully illustrated story with no words. We always have the best time reading them. Thank you for telling me about this one it’s going right on my library list.

    • Margot says:

      Martha,
      I know your little ones will love this story. My oldest daughter teaches a preschool class of 4/5 year-olds. She brought this book in one day, read it and the kids were captivated. She had to read it again and several children wanted it again. A perfect recommendation.

  5. bermudaonion says:

    Jerry Pinkney was at SIBA and he couldn’t stop talking about his great-granddaughter – I loved him immediately. This book sounds fabulous. I was at a book your lunch event yesterday and talk turned to the newest Newbery winner – Moon Over Manifest – that might be another good book for you to investigate.

    • Margot says:

      Thanks for stopping by the new blog, Kathy.

      That would have been great fun to hear Jerry Pinkney talk on about his granddaughter. I would have matched him picture for picture and story for story. (Us grandparents are so competitive!) It sounds like you had a great experience.

  6. izzybella says:

    Nice review. That was always one of my favorite stories. In fact, I think of it every time I read The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, when I get to that part where the mice are chewing through Aslan’s ropes. It seems C.S. Lewis was definitely inspired by this one.

  7. kaye says:

    I’ll have to find this one, I love picture books. I have one about dinosaurs that the kids absolutely love. I think it is an award winner too. Congratulations on successfully completing your first post 🙂

  8. Bumbles says:

    I grew up on Caldecott winners in my house. I am very familiar with that big gold sticker on the cover! And what a treat – the illustrator’s artwork is on display at the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge through May! If the snow thaws out by then we’ll take a drive out there.

    • Margot says:

      Reading all the Caldecott winners is a wonderful start to a child’s education. You were a lucky girl. If you have a chance to see the Jerry Pinkney exhibit I’d love to hear about the highlights.

  9. Louise says:

    I read The Lion and The Mouse a few months ago. I agree, it’s a wonderful book- so beautifully illustrated.

  10. Beth F says:

    Looks wonderful — I’ll have to track it down when I’m at the library. Oh and thanks for letting us know more about the award itself.

  11. Delightful review Margot! I’m buying this for the great-grands — perfect for them.

  12. Margot, I’ve always loved that story. And the art in this picture book is just glorious. Thanks for sharing it. 🙂

  13. Kathleen says:

    This sounds like a real treat. This is just the sort of book that I will read on a crazy, hectic day. Something about a story with beautiful pictures calms me down. Maybe it is the connection to my childhood but it works every single time! Thank you for bringing this one to my attention, I will see if my library has it available.

    • Margot says:

      Kathleen – I couldn’t agree more with your experience. Books like The Lion and The Mouse totally absorb me and draw me in and therefore, calms my spirit. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts with us.

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