Fabulous Book Published in 2010: The Lion and the Mouse

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This is the cover of The Lion and the Mouse by Jerry Pinkney (http://www.jerrypinkneystudio.com/), winner of the 2010 Caldecott Award.  This is a beautifully illustrated wordless book based on the classic Aesop’s fable.  This book probably grew out of his previous book Aesop’s Fables which contain a collection of all of the fables, each with an illustration by Pinkney.  Pinkney’s illustration in both books, but especially The Lion and the Mouse, are very detailed, hand sketched drawings that depict scenes in the stories.

 The thing that strikes me about these illustrations is how easy it is to see the artistic process that Pinkney used.  The reader can clearly see the pencil marks Pinkney used to sketch the overall shapes and used to add details.  The layer upon layer of watercolor add light, color, and even more detail to the illustrations.  I think that this book could not only be considered an excellent piece of literature, but also a large collection of art.

The simple fact is that kids of all ages will love this 2010 Caldecott winner.  I am planning on teaching Kindergarten after I finish school and I cannot imagine my classroom without this book.  Because of how eye-catching this book is, I think young children who read it will begin to see how amazing and exciting the world of books is.  The reader cannot help but become engaged when reading this book.  Older readers will not only love the illustrations, but will enjoy writing their own story to go with them.

Happy Reading!  
Michael

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4 responses »

  1. Michael,I enjoyed reading your post, and especially your comments about the art in these books. It's really helpful for those of us who work with children and want to find books where the artist's technique is easily seen. I like to use those books when I first discuss the work of artists and when I try to get kids to see themselves as artists when they illustrate their own books. Debbie Rowe (Vanderbilt Univ.)

  2. Michael, Thanks for the fabulous recommendations and the post that you wrote. I love to find books to use with my own children where the art is so compelling and where it enhances the story. Best, Emily Huff (University of TN)

  3. Michael,These pictures are so beautiful! I love that the story is told strictly through pictures. What a great way to evoke an inquiry lesson on story telling. Maybe the students could create their own interpretation of the book before reading the fable. Do you have any other techniques that might be used with this book?Best of luck!Emily Giuliani (Peabody Graduate Student)

  4. Michael,I really enjoyed reading your post about "The Lion and the Mouse." So much emphasis is put on the writing component of a children's book, that the power of the illustrations is often neglected. Jerry Pinkney's choice to omit words will challenge readers to instead find meaning in the beautiful and detailed drawings. Thank you for bringing this book to our attention. I can't wait to incorporate it into my classroom in the future!~Evanne (Peabody Graduate Student)

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