Becca Buckman's Reviews > The Lion and the Mouse

The Lion and the Mouse by Jerry Pinkney
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Sep 21, 2011

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Read in September, 2011

Another Caldecott Winning Book is the mighty tale of The Lion & The Mouse written by Jerry Pinkney. This story is a wordless picture book telling the great adventure of an unlikely friendship between two animals living in the wild. A tiny mouse, running from a predator, finds shelter atop the king of the jungle. The gentle giant spares the mouse’s life and finds comfort in his decision when he himself must call upon an unlikely rescuer when he becomes trapped in danger. The reader and listener are given a great story about friendship and repayment of gracious acts of kindness.

a.) The greatest aspect of this beloved Aesop fable is the way Pinkley created the animals in the story to look incredibly lifelike and real.

b.) Every reader and observer feel as though they are in the plains of Africa as they look through the amazing picture represented in The Lion and the Mouse. The lion’s stretched yawn and giraffes graze through the fields from the first turn of the title page to the great amount of detail seen on the mouse on pages 21-22 show Pinkley’s amazing way of bringing these fabled animals to life.

c.) Pinkley does a great job showing the characteristics of the incredibly strong lion and tiny scared mouse on pages 7 and 8. He also adds the animal sounds “GRRR” and “Squeak” to emphasize the animal’s undeniable size difference and the illustration’s lifelike interpretation. The lion’s loud roar is in large capital letters on the top of the page while the mouse’s tiny squeak is small and almost unnoticeable. The lifelike illustrations carry on to the lion’s hunters on pages 17 – 18, bringing many details to their safari jeep and lion trap.


This wordless picture book fits well with lessons about friendship and courage to look outside the everyday “normal” and see what people and animals can bring to one’s life. With the younger students, many lessons are spent on friendship and how to provide and produce acts of kindness to friends and improbable acquaintances. Using this story would be a great jump start to helping students understand that no good deal will go without recognition. The mouse was running to safety and the kind lion saw the fear in his eyes and decided to let the furry animal escape, not knowing the danger which lie ahead for himself. The mouse heard and saw the lion’s cry for help and decided to do a good deed as well. The lion and mouse are seen walking off together in the African wilderness, appearing to be happy, feeling safe and making new friends. If a teacher looks close enough, lions and mice alike can be found in every classroom, waiting for the opportunity to do something caring and rewarding.
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message 1: by Sue (new)

Sue I really love the numerous curriculum connections you make here.


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