Jeannie's Reviews > The Lion & the Mouse

The Lion & the Mouse by Jerry Pinkney
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Oct 06, 11

Read in September, 2011

Citation: The Lion and the Mouse, Jerry Pinkney, (Little Brown and Company, 2009), 32p. Picture book.

Genre: Picture Book-Wordless

Summary: This wordless book is one of Aesop's fables. In this book, the mouse is shown favor by the Lion who sets him free instead of killing him. Later in the story, the mouse is able to return the favor and we see that a lasting friendship has been forged.

Critique: (a)I like the way the illustrations seem to give voice to the characters through their facial expressions.
(b) The author strengthens the voice of the characters by composition. The lion is usually shown on an open spread of pages which makes him bigger, more powerful, and domineering. In contrast the mouse is shown in frames and as a small part of an overwhelming backdrop. This gives him an insignificance and vulnerability. The author also uses closeups of the faces of the lion and the mouse so that we can read their facial expressions and body language, thereby hearing their voices.
(c) I think this can be seen best on page 8-9. The lion is pictured spread across two pages and in the far right corner of the spread he dangles the mouse who is in a defensive position to protect his head from harm. The lion's expression,with head turned to the side and peering out of the corner of his narrowed eye, seems to say gruffly, "I could just tear you apart right now!" In return the mouse,with his eyes closed and hands over his ears, seems to say very quickly and tremblingly, "I know, I know, I know...please, don't."

Curriculum Connection: This book could be used with a language arts focus allowing students to actually create original dialogue(giving them voice)and provide us with the private thoughts of the characters by using the expressions and body language in the illustrations.
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