The Children's Book Compass

An Aesop Fable Brought to Life

Posted on: February 2, 2012

Mouse & Lion by Rand Burkert.  Illustrated by Nancy Ekholm Burkert.  (2011).  Pages not numbered.  Scholastic.  Ages 3-10.  Picture book.

This is a beautifully crafted, elegant retelling of the Aesop fable about the powerful lion who is saved by the lowly mouse.  The setting is Africa in an area bordering Botswana and Namibia.   The detailed illustrations feature the African grass mouse and a splendid lion.  Most scenes show close-ups of the animals, some from the mouse’s perspective – a huge paw holding the mouse’s tail or the lion’s gigantic mouth wide opened, displaying his fearsome teeth.  The illustrator shows every hair and whisker on each animal.  One two page spread shows the baobab tree resplendent in front of a setting sun.  Light infuses the pages as the illustrator uses the white background effectively.   The choice of paper, design of the book, and gorgeous illustrations combine with the well paced, character enhancing text.  Team this with Jerry Pinkney’s wordless version, Lion and the Mouse to discuss how illustrators and authors make choices about the stories they produce.

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1 Response to "An Aesop Fable Brought to Life"

Marilyn–I wondered what you were up to! Reading of course. I will share your blog with my students. Best, deanna

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Pointing the Direction to New Books for Children and Teens

Marilyn Carpenter, PhD.

Contact Marilyn

e-mail: MarilynCaz@aol.com
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