The Lion or the Mouse? (Who's Got Game? Series #2)

Overview

In this charmingly subversive reinterpretation of a classic tale, the Morrisons and Pascal Lemaitre take a hilarious look at bullying. The cocky lion, the self-proclaimed "baddest in the land," believes himself invincible until he gets a thorn stuck in his paw. Only a weak little mouse can help him, but then the lion must indulge the mouse's ridiculous pride and appetite for power.
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Overview

In this charmingly subversive reinterpretation of a classic tale, the Morrisons and Pascal Lemaitre take a hilarious look at bullying. The cocky lion, the self-proclaimed "baddest in the land," believes himself invincible until he gets a thorn stuck in his paw. Only a weak little mouse can help him, but then the lion must indulge the mouse's ridiculous pride and appetite for power.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
A boastful king of beasts gets a thorn in his paw and lets a timid mouse pull it. Afterward, the two reverse roles; the lion learns humility, but the mouse becomes a power-mad bully. Once again the audience must decide "who's got game," or who's in the right. Both retellings-especially the shrewd portrait of the musician-score slam dunks. All ages. (June) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
What can a lion do when a thorn is in his paw? Who can help him to get it out? The elephant? The monkey? The mouse? This book is an adaptation of one of Aesop's classic fables of the Lion and the mouse. The entire story is written in prose. The text is easy to speak and fun to listen to because of the alliteration. The book did have one problem: the words were difficult to read because the font used looks like someone's handwriting rather than an easily readable font. The handwriting also makes the book look less appealing and professional. The pictures and storyline are done in cartoon style with the text accompanying the individual pictures. The design for the graphics is well done and helps to describe the story of the book. As with most of Aesop's fables, the end of this story includes a very good moral. 2003, Simon & Schuster, Ages 5 to 12.
— Nicole Peterson
School Library Journal
Gr 2-5-The Morrisons extend Aesop's "Lion and the Mouse" into a hip-hop-cadenced meditation on bullying, with some role reversal. "LISTEN UP! LISTEN UP! NO IFS, MAYBES, ANDS, OR BUTS. I AM THE KING ALL OVER THE LAND. I DO WHAT I LIKE. I DO WHAT I CAN!" So roars Lion, until felled by a thorn, and Mouse squeaks a similar line, after putting Lion back on his feet. Outraged when all of the other animals only laugh, Mouse proceeds to pester Lion with complaints, until the larger animal quietly departs, leaving his house and throne to his erstwhile rescuer. Lema tre decks Lion out in a robe, places him in natural settings-except when the scene moves indoors-and supplies hand-lettered text and dialogue to go with the cartoon panels. After leaving Lion sitting alone asking, "Is he who wants to be a bully just scared to be himself?" the artist then closes with a puzzlingly disconnected sequence of frames involving the mouse, Lion's throne, and a buglike creature. Morrison's celebrity status may sell the book, but this patchy, illogical episode isn't likely to sell many readers on its lesson.-John Peters, New York Public Library Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780743222488
  • Publisher: Scribner
  • Publication date: 8/26/2003
  • Series: Who's Got Game? Series , #2
  • Pages: 40
  • Age range: 7 - 10 Years
  • Lexile: 490L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 8.62 (w) x 9.33 (h) x 0.41 (d)

Meet the Author

Toni Morrison

Professor of Education Arizona State University Dr. David Moore taught high school social students and reading in Arizona public schools before entering college teaching. He currently teaches secondary school teacher preparation courses in adolescent literacy. He co-chaired the International Reading Association's Commission on Adolescent Literacy and is actively involved with several professional associations. His twenty-five year publication record balances research reports, professional articles, book chapters, and books. Noteworthy publications include the International Reading Association position statement on adolescent literacy and the Handbook of the Reading Research chapter on secondary school reading. Recent books include Teaching Adolescents Who Struggle with Reading (2nd ed.) and Principled Practices for Adolescent Literacy.

Dr. Short is a division director at the Center for Applied Linguistics (CAL) in Washington, D.C. She has worked as a teacher, trainer, researcher, and curriculum/materials developer. Her work at CAL has concentrated on the integration of language learning with content-area instruction. Through several national projects, she has conducted research and provided professional development and technical assistance to local and state education agencies across the United States. She directed the ESL Standards and Assessment Project for TESOL and co-developed the SIOP model for sheltered instruction.

Professor, College of Education Temple University Dr. Michael Smith joined the ranks of college teachers after eleven years of teaching high school English. He has won awards for his teaching at both the high school and college levels. His research focuses on how experienced readers read and talk about texts, as well as what motivates adolescents' reading and writing both in and out of school. He has written eight books and monographs, including "Reading Don't Fix No Chevys": Literacy in the Lives of Young Men, for which he and his co-author received the 2003 David H. Russell Award for Distinguished Research in the Teaching of English. His writing has appeared in such journals as Communication Education, English Journal, Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, Journal of Educational Research, Journal of Literacy Research, and Research in the Teaching of English.

Associate Professor, Literacy Education Northern Illinois University Dr. Alfred Tatum began his career as an eighth-grade teacher, later becoming a reading specialist and discovering the power of texts to reshape the life outcomes of struggling readers. His current research focuses on the literacy development of African American adolescent males, and he provides teacher professional development to urban middle and high schools. He serves on the National Advisory Reading Committee of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) and is active in a number of literacy organizations. In addition to his book Teaching Reading to Black Adolescent Males: Closing the Achievement Gap, he has published in journals such as Reading Research Quarterly, Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, Educational Leadership, Journal of College Reading and Learning, and Principal Leadership.

Biography

Toni Morrison has been called "black America's best novelist," and her incredible string of imaginative contemporary classics would suggest that she is actually one of America's best novelists regardless of race. Be that as it may, it is indeed difficult to disconnect Morrison's work from racial issues, as they lie at the heart of her most enduring novels.

Growing up in Lorain, Ohio, a milieu Jet magazine described as "mixed and sometimes hostile," Morrison experienced racism firsthand. (When she was still a toddler, her home was set on fire with her family inside.) Yet, her father instilled in her a great sense of dignity, a cultural pride that would permeate her writing. She distinguished herself in school, graduating from Howard and Cornell Universities with bachelor's and master's degrees in English; in addition to her career as a writer, she has taught at several colleges and universities, lectured widely, and worked in publishing.

Morrison made her literary debut in 1970 with The Bluest Eye, the story of a lonely 11-year-old black girl who prays that God will turn her eyes blue, in the naïve belief that this transformation will change her miserable life. As the tale unfolds, her life does change, but in ways almost too tragic and devastating to contemplate. On its publication, the book received mixed reviews; but John Leonard of The New York Times recognized the brilliance of Morrison's writing, describing her prose as "...so precise, so faithful to speech and so charged with pain and wonder that the novel becomes poetry."

Over time, Morrison's talent became self-evident, and her reputation grew with each successive book. Her second novel, Sula, was nominated for a National Book Award; her third, 1977's Song of Solomon, established her as a true literary force. Shot through with the mythology and African-American folklore that informed Morrison's childhood in Ohio, this contemporary folktale is notable for its blending of supernatural and realistic elements. It was reviewed rapturously and went on win a National Book Critics Circle Award.

The culmination of Morrison's storytelling skills, and the book most often considered her masterpiece, is Beloved. Published in 1987 and inspired by an incident from history, this post-Civil War ghost story tells the story of Sethe, a former runaway slave who murdered her baby daughter rather than condemn her to a life of slavery. Now, 18 years later, Sethe and her family are haunted by the spirit of the dead child. Heartbreaking and harrowing, Beloved grapples with mythic themes of love and loss, family and freedom, grief and guilt, while excavating the tragic, shameful legacy of slavery. The novel so moved Morrison's literary peers that 48 of them signed an open letter published in The New York Times, demanding that she be recognized for this towering achievement. The book went on to win the Pulitzer Prize; and in 2006, it was selected by The New York Times as the single best work of American fiction published in the last 25 years.

In addition to her extraordinary novels, Morrison has also written a play, short stories, a children's book, and copious nonfiction, including essays, reviews, and literary and social criticism. While she has made her name by addressing important African-American themes, her narrative power and epic sweep have won her a wide and diverse audience. She cannot be dismissed as a "black writer" any more than we can shoehorn Faulkner's fiction into "southern literature." Fittingly, she received the Nobel Prize in 1993; perhaps the true power of her impressive body of work is best summed up in the Swedish Academy's citation, which reads: "To Toni Morrison, who, in novels characterized by visionary force and poetic import, gives life to an essential aspect of American reality."

Good To Know

Chloe Anthony Wofford chose to publish her first novel under the name Toni Morrison because she believed that Toni was easier to pronounce than Chloe. Morrison later regretted assuming the nom de plume.

In 1986, the first production of Morrison's sole play Dreaming Emmett was staged. The play was based on the story of Emmett Till, a black teen murdered by racists in 1955.

Morrison's prestigious status is not limited to her revered novels or her multitude of awards. She also holds a chair at Princeton University.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Chloe Anthony Wofford (real name)
      Toni Morrison
    2. Hometown:
      Princeton, New Jersey, and Manhattan
    1. Date of Birth:
      February 18, 1931
    2. Place of Birth:
      Lorain, Ohio
    1. Education:
      Howard University, B.A. in English, 1953; Cornell, M.A., 1955

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 30, 2003

    Listen to me I'm a kid I know what I didn't like

    This was a confusing book, that kept changing the subject. It does not teach kids any lesson at all. First the lion is all bad and then when the mouse saves him he is very nice to him and the mouse takes over and it ends with the mouse being mean. Not a lesson you want to teach your kids. Also it went on and off with being a poem and not.

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