The Lion and the Mouse

The Lion and the Mouse

5.0 3
by Aesop, Bernadette Watts

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"A gentle picture-book retelling with a slightly different twist. In this version


"A gentle picture-book retelling with a slightly different twist. In this version

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Gentle, black-and-white pencil drawings mirror the hushed reverence of this haunting retelling of a well-known Aesop's fable. Just a few lines evoke the lion's command of his forest kingdom and build a sense of foreboding (``[The mouse] stayed, still as stone, his tiny heart beating with the memory of the lion's roar. He crouched, silent as rock, until the shadow of the lion's paw had passed''). Alternating with full-page illustrations, clusters of several small sketches focus frame by frame on one particular moment-the lion's roar, encroaching hunters or the mouse gnawing at the ropes that trap the lion. The effect is dynamic, providing the visual rhythms often missing from monochromatic art. Gossamer soft in its drawings and text, this book is nevertheless animated enough to capture the attention of the very young. All ages. (Oct.)
Children's Literature - Children's Literature
In this retelling of the Aesop fable of the same name, Watts creates in text and illustration an "uncluttered" picture book version of the fable. She uses simple text, detailed illustrations in soft natural colors, and lots of white space to make the book appealing to younger readers. Preschool "readers" are able to focus on the story and illustrations and ask that it be read again. They enjoy identifying the animals, birds, and insects that Watts includes in the illustrations. Because of the detailed illustrations, the book is best read to individual children or very small groups. The expressions on the faces of the creatures are "childlike" and show the wonderment of exploration. Although the art is the strong attraction of the story, it can also put limitations on the audience. By the age of six, children would find the book too simplistic and childlike. The book is highly recommended for preschool collections. 2000, North-South, Ages 2 to 5, $15.95. Reviewer: Jenny B. (J. B.) Petty
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-A gentle picture-book retelling with a slightly different twist. In this version, the main characters first meet when the lion is a young cub. Years pass and the "king of the beasts" is trapped by a hunter's net and ultimately freed by the same mouse. The other details of this familiar fable remain the same, but Watts's illustrations enlarge the setting to include a fanciful African Lion King landscape dotted with meerkats, leopards, baboons, and giraffes. The text is strong with short, descriptive sentences and an effective use of repetition. The palette in the full-spread art reflects the mix of the jungle and desert landscapes depicted: pastel greens alternating with arid browns, yellows, and touches of orange. The illustrations draw upon realistic details for trees and plants yet maintain a cartoonlike sensibility for the animals. Overall, the impression created is one of passivity; there is little drama or action. While this particular adaptation has some weaknesses, it should be a useful addition to storytimes and folklore collections.-Denise Anton Wright, Alliance Library System, Bloomington, IL Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

North-South Books, Inc.
Publication date:
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
8.44(w) x 11.27(h) x 0.16(d)
Age Range:
3 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Though many modern scholars dispute his existence, Aesop's life was chronicled by first century Greek historians who wrote that Aesop, or Aethiop, was born into Greek slavery in 620 B.C. Freed because of his wit and wisdom, Aesop supposedly traveled throughout Greece and was employed at various times by the governments of Athens and Corinth. Some of Aesop's most recognized fables are The Tortoise and the Hare, The Fox and the Grapes, and The Ant and the Grasshopper. His simple but effective morals are widely used and illustrated for children.

Bernadette Watts has loved to draw since her childhood in England. She created her first picture book under the influence of Beatrix Potter. Watts studied at the Maidstone Art School in Kent and is the illustrator of North South fairy tales The Snow Queen and The Ugly Duckling.

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Lion and the Mouse 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
MTLOR More than 1 year ago
The Lion & the Mouse Illustrations are truly delightful and I have given this book to several friends to share with their children and Grand Children, because it is such a nice story also. I would like to have had it in hardback, but this was the only thing available at the time I was ordering before Christmas. One friend said she is going to make sure her children have more books than toys, thus what a treasure to find a book that will last in their library for years to come. MTLor
Guest More than 1 year ago
I really love this book. Even though I am not that little to still read it, I still do, once in a while. This book really impacted my life.