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The Lion and the Mouse

4.20  ·  Rating details ·  24,097 ratings  ·  3,195 reviews
In award-winning artist Jerry Pinkney's wordless adaptation of one of Aesop's most beloved fables, an unlikely pair learn that no act of kindness is ever wasted. After a ferocious lion spares a cowering mouse that he'd planned to eat, the mouse later comes to his rescue, freeing him from a poacher's trap. With vivid depictions of the landscape of the African Serengeti and ...more
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published September 1st 2009 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
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Average rating 4.20  · 
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 ·  24,097 ratings  ·  3,195 reviews

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Wow! this is a beautiful book cover to cover. This wordless retelling of an Aesop’s Fable is amazing and stunning.

The mouse running from an owl runs onto the back of a Lion who catches the mouse and then lets him go. Later the lion is caught in a person’s net and the mouse frees the lion from the trap.

I think this is a wonderful story about helping each other. It could be a useful tool of understanding how to act right now on a political level. Jerry Pinkney has done more stories from Aesop’s F

“The Lion and the Mouse” is a Caldecott Medal award winning book by the wonderful Jerry Pinkney that is about how a bold lion realizes that the smallest creature can be a big help when he is trapped in a predicament that he cannot get out of. “The Lion and the Mouse” is a brilliant retelling of the classic Aesop fable that children will read over and over again.

Jerry Pinkney’s illustrations alone retell the story of a popular Aesop fable, since there are no words in this book to tell the readers
Jackie "the Librarian"
The picture on the endpages is my favorite in the book, but as I can't find that on online, I present instead this one, which I also love:

This is a really wonderful wordless telling of the Aesop's fable, with the lion and the mouse both depicted with real character, and humor.
I love Jerry Pinkney's watercolors, and the way he populates his pictures not just with the title characters, but a delightful assortment of animals from the African Serengeti of Tanzania and Kenya, where he set his tellin
Although I am generally not all that much a fan of wordless picture books as a genre (as I simply do enjoy written text considerably more than illustrated images and also often tend to find the former easier to follow and understand), I have indeed found Jerry Pinkney's Caldecott Medal winning wordless adaptation of Aesop's fable The Lion and the Mouse both utterly charming and realistically, imaginatively descriptive, and thus really, truly showing the plot, the story of how a diminutive mouse ...more
Oct 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Goodness gracious, this is a book that can't just sit on a shelf in a bookstore. Try walking past can't, for the magnificent water colours simply jump right at you.

This book is a silent movie on paper. The tale "do unto others" is told by art only. Your children will want to turn the pages themselves so they can see the great maned lion and the pesky little mouse work things out.

And once your child is done, take the book and stand it up on your bookshelf with cover front-and-center, fo
Jul 19, 2009 rated it it was amazing
How trustworthy do you find a reviewer who loves a particular author’s work, praises it regularly, and then reviews that writer's next book with predictable kisses, cheers, and thrown rose petals? I admit that I am usually that exact reviewing type. If I like someone’s work, I’m more likely to review that same person in the future. That’s just how the game goes. But for once, I think I should point out that a positive review is all the MORE impressive when it comes from someone who not usually a ...more
Lisa  (not getting friends updates) Vegan
Jan 18, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everybody who appreciates beautiful picture books; Aesop’s Fables fans
Recommended to Lisa (not getting friends updates) by: Abigail A.
This is an absolutely gorgeous book. It’s one of the most beautifully illustrated picture books I’ve read.

I didn’t think I was going to enjoy this book that much, given that I like Aesop’s Fables but they’ve never been my very favorite tales, but this wordless version is phenomenal. It’s also rather graphic, especially when the lion gets caught in the poacher’s trap. This author/illustrator’s reverence for animals really comes through in this book.

The book had me riveted from the wordless cover,
Mar 08, 2010 rated it it was amazing
What more can be said about Pinkney's award-winning (and justifiably so) gem of a wordless story? Personally, I think it is beautifully portrayed--I love the African savanna setting, and the expressions of the lion and the mouse tell the story perfectly. ...more
This is a wordless picture book that illustrates one of Aesop's fables, "The Lion and the Mouse." It is a story that shows the reader how the mighty lion spares the tiny mouse's life and later on, how the tiny mouse saves the mighty lion's life. ...more
Mar 10, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Ann by: Kathryn :)
This is an almost entirely wordless book. The only words are "sounds" - and owl hooting, the mouse squeaking, etc. The illustrations are simply lovely and I was amazed that Pinkney could convey the emotion he did while still managing to keep the animals looking "real."

I wasn't familiar with this version of the fable, and don't want to spoil it for anyone else. Let me simply say that it isn't a thorn in the paw this time.

I especially enjoyed the author's note, where Pinkney says that he was, as
Mar 01, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This nearly wordless retelling of the Aesop Fable, set in the African Serengeti of Tanzania and Kenya, won the Caldecott Medal for the most distinguished book of 2009. Jerry Pinkney richly deserves the award for his detailed watercolor, pencil, and colored pencil illustrations which enhance the original fable by adding a family for the courageous mouse and adding selective animal sounds. The glorious endpages set the story in context by picturing giraffe, zebra, elephant, and other animal famili ...more
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
Beautiful, beautiful! I didn't expect this book to be wordless, but Pinkney does a fine job of telling this traditional fable, set in Africa, clearly and with style. He truly deserved the Caldecott Award he won with this one! Even the endpapers tell part of the story. The detail and the color in the pictures made me want to gaze at each one for several minutes, so it took me a while to get through the book. Those mice are so cute! Outstanding! Highly recommended! ...more
Jan 20, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Caldecott 2010
No words necessary in this beautifully illustrated book. The story is completely told of the friendship shown by a lion to a mouse, and the dividends of that friendship when a rope-net trap captures the lion. Children LOVE these books where they can ad-lib all that is happening. Try it! Listen to a small child tell you this story as they 'read' these pictures.
Feb 03, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This Caldecott Medal winner is entirely wordless except for animal sounds such as the lion roaring or the mouse squeaking. On one page there is also the putt-putt of the poachers' jeep.

The illustrations here are, of course, amazing! They tell the story in such an expressive way. I especially love the many expressions on both the lion's face and the mouse's face throughout the story. I'm sure it's no accident that we don't see the faces of the human poachers.

Pinkney mentions in his Artist's Note
The Library Lady
Oct 08, 2009 rated it liked it
The art is gorgeous and Pinkney is bound to be in the Caldecott running for this one.
On the other hand, to be my usual cranky self--and this is why I won't give it more than 3 stars--I always find that adults kvell over wordless picture books a lot more than kids do.
And as expressive as the art here is--and it's very--kids who don't know the Aesop fable are going to need some sort of explanation of the plot in order to really get what's going on here.
Michelle (Sherbet Lemon)
Gorgeous pictures! : ) Perfect rendition of this story!
Adriana Villagomez
Jan 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Have you ever thought that as long as you do good, good will be done back to you? Well that is what happens in this story. The Lion and the Mouse is one of Aesop’s fables. In this version, there are no words, only pictures, that guide the imagination. The main characters are the lion and the mouse. As in the original fable, the mouse accidentally wakes up a lion and is caught in his grasp. The lion graciously releases the mouse from his grasp, only to be saved from a poacher’s trap by the very s ...more
Teeny Probst
Mar 29, 2010 rated it liked it
Summary: In award-winning artist Jerry Pinkney's wordless adaptation of one of Aesop's most beloved fables, an unlikely pair learn that no act of kindness is ever wasted. After a ferocious lion spares a cowering mouse that he'd planned to eat, the mouse later comes to his rescue, freeing him from a poacher's trap. With vivid depictions of the landscape of the African Serengeti and expressively-drawn characters, Pinkney makes this a truly special retelling, and his stunning pictures speak volumes ...more
Feb 20, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
Amazing illustrations accompany the classic Aesop's fable in this wordless book. Animal noises and the expressive illustrations alone tell the tale magnificently and this work of art is well worth its Caldecott Medal nod. Our girls loved the pictures and really enjoyed the "story" without words, helping me tell them the tale.

This book was selected as one of the January 2011 - Wordless Picture Book reads at the Picture-Book Club in the Children's Books Group here at Goodreads.

This book was also s
Apr 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I have never read this book before, but after reading this in the library, it became another one of my favorite children's books. It is an actual picture book without any words, which made me enjoy it even more because it made me really concentrate on the photos instead of the text. It also made me really think about what the storyline behind this was, which has never happened before. After finishing the book, I realized that the storyline behind this book was about a mouse who takes refuge on a ...more
Angela Bailey
Title / Author / Publication Date:
The lion and the mouse. / Jerry Pinkney. / 2009.

Genre: Nonfiction: Folktales.

Format: Picturebook - print.

Plot summary:
"In this wordless retelling of an Aesop fable, an adventuresome mouse proves that even small creatures are capable of great deeds when he rescues the King of the Jungle" (NoveList).

Considerations or precautions for readers advisory:
unlikely friendships, rescue, African Serengeti, lion & mouse

Review citation:
"The ambiguity that results from the l
I thought this book was going to a simple story of "The Lion and the Mouse" except Jerry Pinkney did the creative thinking and used pictures and sound to write the story. Don't get me wrong it is the same story from Aesop's Fables but I fell in love with this story simply by the illustrations.

The illustrations brought the animals to life and the use of colors and the way it is drawn just left me utterly speechless how this book is a children's story. He drew words to create the sound of wind or
Aug 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I thought this book showed a good message to people of all ages. It shows that through tough times those who you thought wouldn't help you do in fact come around. In this story, the mouse who is trying to get away from danger ends up with a lion. Who had originally made plans to eat him,after some time the lion decides to let the mouse go. To return the favor for the lion letting go of the mouse, the mouse helps the lion who becomes trapped. Although the mouse is tiny compared to the big lion, h ...more
Aug 26, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Another book for the Caldecott Challenge, though given my recent obsession with Jerry Pinkney books, I would've read it sometime soon anyways. This book won the 2010 Caldecott Award and although I enjoyed "All the World," this book is so beautifully illustrated, it is no wonder that it won. Pinkney's books are literally works of art in and of themselves, and this book is no exception. I was surprised that this version of the Aesop fable was wordless, but the penciled and watercolored illustratio ...more
Feb 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s-books
This Caldecott award winning picture book is simply perfection. The lavish, bright and arresting illustrations that tell a beloved Aesop fable about a merciful lion enthrall the reader immediately. I loved how Pinkney used just sounds to add a touch of fun and action to the story. This is a must have for your picture book collection. This book is a wonderful illustration of how the humblest of us can make a difference, even to the most powerful.

Find it at Cuyahoga County Public Library: http://
Oct 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing

Amazing artwork. Pictures with a few sound effects, the majesty and mastery of the illustrations creates a story that one can snuggle with and reread again and again, looking for new details.

A great book to encourage young readers to tell YOU the story based on what they are seeing.
What an excellent way to build reading comprehension in prereaders.

(In fact I'm going to add all of Jerry Pinkney's books to my wish list right now!)
Robert Davis
Caldecott Medal (2010)

A splendid picture book relating Aesop's fable of The Lion and The Mouse. Deserving of the Caldecott for the highly detailed and rich watercolor illustrations. There is much to discover on each page, as the artwork is beautifully designed and rendered. 4/5 stars because the story itself, while classic, is not original.
Mississippi Library Commission
Jerry Pinkney, an incredible artist, takes on Aesop's fable about a lion and a mouse. This picture book only contains a few "words"-roar and squeak are prominent-but more words are actually unnecessary. Youngsters will be attracted by the large, colorful pictures and will enjoy being able to "read" this one by themselves, making it a great jumping off place for book discussions. ...more
Dec 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
There is more to this story than mercy and friendship....look deeper.
The Stars are for the illustrations, obviously, as this is a wordless book. It's a great quiet reading book for kids. ...more
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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 75 books to his credit. He has the rare distinction of being the recipient of five Caldecott Honor books and the winner of the Caldecott medal for The Lion and the Mouse. He has also won the Coretta Scott King Award five times, the Coretta Scott K ...more

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