Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (Sep 1 2009)
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.
I had seen mention of this book around the web, particularly that it had won The Caldecott Medal: this intrigued me. With many thanks to Melanie at Hachette, I received a copy of this stunning book to review.
From the picture above (which is the dust cover) to the book cover itself, the inner linings, as well as the actual content of the book, Jerry Pinkney's drawings are beautiful, and barely any space is left blank. The size contrast between the lion and the mouse, the visual effect of the lion's roar, and the mouse diligently working to free the trapped lion, are lively rendered through the pages. The stunning drawings of the Serengeti are a reminder, also, of the delicate nature of our world in Earth's current tumultuous time.
Aesop's story was one that I vaguely remembered, but on reading the author's note at the end, I had to re-read it for myself (which I found online). With Mr. Pinkney's version, it is truly a tale we can teach our children from a very early age, with the purely visual aspect, but also remind ourselves how relevant the moral of the story is and how it transforms through circumstances and remains true in this modern age.
Definitely a fantastic addition to any book collector's library!