Monday, August 18, 2014

A Picture Book a Day for a Year: Day 121

Picture Book: The Lion and the Mouse

Author & Illustrator: Jerry Pinkney

Summary: In this traditional Aesop fable, Jerry Pinkney’s exquisite watercolors detail and complete this wordless picture book. A fierce lion spares the life of a mouse that has many babies at home to care for. Later the lion is netted by poachers. His roar is heard by the mother mouse who comes to his rescue by chewing the netting in several places. No words are necessary to see the gratitude in the lion and the delight in the baby mice when they get to chew on the netting knots that mom has brought home.  Mr. Pinkney’s long admiration for this tale is explained in the Author’s Note.

Hanna’s Comments: Because this is a wordless book, I would recommend having several copies or using the video version (see below). If this is not possible, then I recommend another version of this traditional tale that has words: The Lion and the Mouse by Bernadette Watts. In either case, gratitude and paying it forward are concepts easily tied to spiritual values and religious community.

Prefer a book with words? There is a series of picture book of Aesop's Fables that I like. The illustrations are very different. The authors vary, but the illustrator for both is Nahta Noj. The Lion and the Mouse by Jenny Bloom is shown above. You'll also find The Tortoise and the Hare, authored by Alison Ritchie. 

Publisher & Date of Publication: Little, Brown, & Company, 2009

Age & Grade Appropriateness: 3 and up, Pre and up

# of Pages: 40

Available in Spanish? This is a wordless book. There are Spanish editions of this traditional tale.

Formats other than Book: There is a video of this book in The Curious Garden and Other Stories which is a video collection and includes 3 other picture books some of which are PBT offerings in August and September. There are several different versions of this traditional tale on as well as a short video of Jerry Pinkney about the creation of this book. 

PBT Category: Traditional Tale, Award Winner (Caldecott Medal), Post 2K

PBT Topics this Book Connects with: abilities, action, Africa, bonds/connections, brokenness, choices/decisions, consequences/punishment, dependence/interdependence, difference, enemies, golden rule/great commandment, goodness, grace, gratitude/thankfulness/thanksgiving, helping, heroes, kindness, parables/stories, poaching/stealing/theft, power, problems/problem solving, rescue, risking, savior/saving, survival, underdogs, victims, wilderness

Scripture Connections: Love your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:39); love does no wrong to a neighbor and is the fulfilling of the law (Romans 13:10)

Idea(s) for Application: Consider using this book or video when you want to explore the personal benefits of loving each other in your religious community or while celebrating your interdependence. 

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