Ceora Brown LIBR 262A

Materials for Children 0-4

47) The Lion and the Mouse by Jerry Pinkney

Pinkney, Jerry. The Lion & the Mouse (Hardcover). Little Brown Books, 2009. 40 pages. ISBN: 978-0316013567.

Aesop’s the Lion & the Mouse is adapted as a wordless picture book. A little mouse awakens the King of the Beats—the Lion—from his nap. As the Lion opens his big jaws to swallow the mouse, the mouse pleads for forgiveness, with tears. The mighty Lion decides to let the mouse go, and in return the mouse saves his life, when he is caught in a trap, and bound by rope. The only images in the book are eye gestures between the two characters, and physical actions, when the mouse gnaws away at the ropes freeing the Lion.   The story teaches children about conduct—one kindness leads to another kindness. A fable is meant to be short; this story is a perfect length to be adapted as a wordless picture book, and a perfect format to help young children develop pre-literacy skills. Toddlers will focus on the illustrations of the story, instead of the words in the story.  In this way, children can practice speaking aloud—using their narrative skills to explain what is happening in the story. Colorful illustrations–watercolor and color pencil– cover the entire page of the picture book, so there is no white space. With wordless picture books, young children become storytellers. Parents can have one-on-one conversations with their toddlers about the story. Even if they babble, young children are learning to put vocabulary words together to form sentences and describe scenes. This is a great mixture of learning for young readers: morals and pre-literacy skills are intertwined. (Picture book 1-4) Pinkney’s website can be found at

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