The Lion and the Mouse (Jerry Pinkney)

I haven't come across any books as truly beautiful as this one in a while. Jerry Pinkney tried his hand at a wordless picture book and retelling an ancient fable, and he ended up with a Caldecott for his efforts. The setting is in Africa (he actually traveled to Kenya and Tanzania to see the African savannah), and every page is filled with the beauty and majesty of nature. In this wordless version, the images show the mouse running from a predatory owl and in her haste she scampers up the back of an enormous beastly lion. For whatever reason, he sets her free rather than having her for a snack, and she promptly returns to her nest and tells her babies what happened. We see hunters setting a large net trap, and the lion stumbling into it. He roars a terrible roar (sorry, that was Where the Wild Things Are) and the mouse hears his distress. She comes to his rescue, frees him from his trap, and they all lie happily ever after. In the gorgeous African grasslands. 


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