Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Lion, Indiana, and the Mouse

You have probably heard by now that The Lion & the Mouse by Jerry Pinkney won the Caldecott Medal, an annual award honoring the best illustration in an American children's picture book. We love the cover and think the Lion bears a strong resemblance to our golden retriever, Indiana. (Imagine him with a mane.) Indiana certainly considers himself king of the household, just as the Lion is the king of the jungle and forest!

Pinkney, a highly regarded artist and illustrator, won the Caldecott Honor five times as well as many other awards, but this one caps his long career. Read an interview here.

The dyslexic Pinkney applied, studied, and perfected his drawing craft, compensating for his reading and writing difficulty. He specializes in creative retellings of folktales or fables.

In the case of his Caldecott winner, he retells Aesop's old fable of the lion & the mouse using only pictures of the African savannah and spelling out animal sounds. He brings the tale to life in a new way, allowing every reader to put his or her own nuance into the story. Themes beyond Aesop's moral emerge, with the animals' expressions evoking emotions from fear to empathy to relief to humor. Every spread is a visual feast.

Congratulations, Jerry Pinkney! Thanks for creating a book for all ages of readers and all ages of time.


  1. Ohhhh, I have to find this at our library--so beautiful, a visual feast indeed. And Indiana is such a handsome dude!

  2. Indiana thanks you! He is handsome, but not at all humble. :)

  3. Our library got this book in. I was there the day Judy took it out of the box. The illustrations appear to be soft flowing watercolors. It is a quiet, peaceful beautiful book.
    Mary Nida