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Mouse & Lion
. Michael de Capua Books: Scholastic . New York, NY
PZ8.2.B875 Mo 2011 (Carlson Fable Collection, BIC bldg)
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What a gorgeous book! The pictures and the texts both treat the story reverently. I was not surprised that the creators of the book went to Africa to get the scenes right. Among the good touches here are the highlighting in the story's title of the primary role of the mouse. The mouse scrambled over a tawny boulder, and the tawny boulder rolled over! The first picture of the slumbering lion is perfect. The mouse's first statement is Sire, I took you for a mountain -- honestly! Next the lion dangled the mouse over his menacing mouth, complete with yellowed teeth. The mouse promised to be brave and said he was loyal, and the lion asked him to show it. The mouse hurled himself around on grasses but flopped in trying to prove his bravery. The lion asked him how many battles he had fought, and the mouse replied that he tried to avoid battles. Then the mouse said that he might be able to help the lion in a pinch. After a good laugh, the lion actually extended his paw to be kissed, but the mouse was already tripping over his tail in running away. Another fine illustration has the two face-to-face after the mouse freed the lion. The lion went away thinking about little creatures. That day, such small things made him happy! I was so happy with this book that I immediately ordered the author's CD of songs based on Aesop's fables, apparently released only recently.