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The Lion & the Mouse.

The Lion & the Mouse

Jerry Pinkney, author and illustrator

Hachette Book Group/Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

237 Park Ave., New York, NY 10017

9780316013567, $16.99

When the art is this stunning text only detracts. In his retelling of a classic Aesop's fable, renowned author and illustrator Jerry Pinkney stuck to illustrations only, with the exception of occasional animal sound words like squeak, screech and roar. And what a good choice. The cover art, featuring a yellow-eyed, whisker-joweled, firey-maned lioned staring down a pink eared, knuckle-toed, bucktoothed mouse, is so exceptionally beautiful you would hate to see a printed title cover even a millimeter of it. So, happily, the title runs up the spine. The tale is a familiar one. After a mighty lion frees a small mouse that he might have eaten, the mouse returns the debt by nibbling the lion out of a hunter's net. While the blazing oranges of the lion's mane form the most spectacular image, other details further the delight. The setting, in the African Serengeti, allows for a great array of animal life as well as small, geographically distinct details like colorful flowers, grasses, insects and butterflies. Beautiful beyond words.

Karyn Saemann


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Author:Saemann, Karyn
Publication:Reviewer's Bookwatch
Article Type:Book review
Date:Sep 1, 2009
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