The Mightiest

Overview

Is the Bear, the Elephant, or the Lion the mightiest animal in the forest? When the three friends come upon a golden crown that says, "For the Mightiest," they each think that they deserve the title. Just when it looks like they'll argue forever, an old woman comes along, which gives them an idea. They'll have a contest to see who can scare her the most! But their game goes awry when a giant appears to take the crown. The giant is certainly the biggest, but does that make him the mightiest? Or is there someone ...

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Overview

Is the Bear, the Elephant, or the Lion the mightiest animal in the forest? When the three friends come upon a golden crown that says, "For the Mightiest," they each think that they deserve the title. Just when it looks like they'll argue forever, an old woman comes along, which gives them an idea. They'll have a contest to see who can scare her the most! But their game goes awry when a giant appears to take the crown. The giant is certainly the biggest, but does that make him the mightiest? Or is there someone else even mightier than the giant? Keiko Kasza charms us again with a subtle reminder that no one is mightier than Mom.

The Lion, the Bear, and the Elephant compete to see who can do the best job scaring a tiny old woman, but she has a surprise for them.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
"This spry, if slight, story introduces three animals who come across a gold crown sitting on a rock that is chiseled with the words `For the mightiest,' " wrote PW. "Playful gouache paintings effectively reinforce the narrative's humor." Ages 2-6. (Nov.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Publishers Weekly
Kasza's (Dorothy & Mikey) spry, if slight, story introduces three animals a lion, bear and elephant who come across a gold crown sitting on a rock that is chiseled with the words "For the Mightiest." Since all three of them claim to be the most deserving of the crown, Lion suggests that whoever does the best job of scaring a tiny old woman who is walking through the woods will earn the title of the mightiest. One by one they jump out at her, roaring, growling or trumpeting as loudly as they can and each time the frightened woman cries, "Oh my!... You scared the daylights out of me!" Suddenly, an enormous giant appears and announces that the crown should be his, since he is "the mightiest giant in the world." A surprising turn of events prompts the animal trio to crown the old woman the mightiest. But she humbly insists that her calico cap is all that she needs ("The mightiest didn't need a crown after all!"), bringing the tale to a tidy and resonant conclusion. Kasza's simple, playful gouache paintings effectively reinforce the narrative's humor. Ages 2-6. (Sept.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature
Walking through the forest one day, Bear, Elephant and Lion discover a golden crown on a rock. The heading under the rock states, "For the Mightiest." A disagreement ensues over who should keep the crown. Finally the animals decide that whoever can scare a passing old lady the most will win the crown. Each animal scares the unsuspecting old lady, but there is no way to judge who scares her the most, thus the arguing begins again. An enormous giant approaches the animals yelling that he is "the biggest, the baddest and the mightiest giant in the world," and thus deserves the crown. Scooping up the animals, the giant intends to demonstrate his might by throwing the animals off a cliff. His plans are interrupted by the same little old lady already seen in the story, who happens to be the giant's mama. Her ability to verbally control the giant awes the animals, who claim that she deserves the crown. Although flattered, the old woman explains she does not need a crown, which earns her the animals' admiration. The last page of the book shows the characters leaving the crown, while three new animals approach the crown. The paintings for the book are done in gouache and add humor to the story through facial expressions and extra details. Adding to the book's format and highlighting the crown are golden end pages. 2001, G.P. Putnam's Sons, $15.99. Ages 5 to 8. Reviewer:Susan Epling
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1-When Bear, Lion, and Elephant discover a golden crown in the forest, they begin to argue over which of them is the mightiest. To prove their strength they decide to frighten a little old lady. Whoever scares her the most will win the crown. But events take an unexpected turn when a mighty giant appears, scoops up the animals, and claims the crown for himself. The little old lady returns and chastises the giant, who turns out to be her son. When the three animals admiringly present the crown to her, she modestly declines, stating that her little hat is quite enough. The theme is certainly a familiar one, but the warmhearted tale is told in an appealing, colloquial manner. Kasza's gouache illustrations are expressive and full of droll details that further enliven the telling.-Sally R. Dow, Ossining Public Library, NY Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780142501856
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 11/10/2003
  • Series: Picture Puffin Series
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 724,085
  • Age range: 4 - 5 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.08 (w) x 8.12 (h) x 0.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Keiko Kasza

Keiko Kasza was born on a small Japanese island in the Inland Sea of Japan. She grew up in a typical Japanese extended family with her parents, two brothers, and grandparents. Uncles, aunts, and cousins also lived nearby. "All the steps I took growing up were very normal," Ms. Kasza says. "The only unusual thing I did was go to college in the United States." She graduated with a degree in graphic design from California State University at Northridge. Ms. Kasza married an American, and the United States has been her home ever since.

After publishing five children's books in Japan and working as a graphic designer for fourteen years, Ms. Kasza decided in 1988 to devote her time to picture books. She says, "Having two small boys and two professions was too much to handle."

Ms. Kasza admires many great picture-book creators, such as Leo Lionni and Maurice Sendak, but says that the work of Arnold Lobel has influenced her the most. The subtle humor and warmth he created in his books continues to inspire me," she says. "I often go back to his work when I get discouraged or lose confidence."

Ms. Kasza compares the process of making a book to acting on stage under the lights:
"I become the character that I'm working on at that moment. I pretend that I'm a bird looking for a mother, or a pig trying to impress his girlfriend. When I'm acting, I'm a child myself."

Ms. Kasza's ambition is not to create a hundred books, but to "create one really good book that will be kept on the family bookshelves for generations, although a hundred really good books would be even better, of course!"

Keiko Kasza lives in Indiana with her husband and two sons.

copyright © 2000 by Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers. All rights reserved.

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