Monday, February 20, 2012

MOUSE AND LION by Rand and Nancy Burkert

Burkert, Rand. Mouse and Lion. Illus. Nancy Ekholm Burkert. New York: Scholastic, Inc, 2011. $17.95 US $19.95 CAN. ISBN: 978-0-545-10147-9. Picturebook, ages 2-6

Aesop’s fables have delighted children for generations, and Rand and Nancy Burkert have created a rendition of the tale Mouse & Lion worthy of cherishing.

Rand Burkert’s retelling, unlike most traditional versions, places Mouse at the center of the story, since, as he writes in the author’s note, “Mouse clearly performs the lion’s share of the work.” Parents and children who read this story can discuss Mouse’s positive characteristics, such as loyalty, repayment of a debt, honesty, and courage, as well as Lion’s leadership as King, particularly his fairness and openness.

The dust jacket is made from off-white textured paper, and the soft colored pencil color scheme of the illustrations reminds me of classic storybooks. Burkert has set her illustrations in the savannahs of Africa, with its baobob trees and swaying grasses. Truly this is a gorgeous work that belongs in any classic storybook collection.

Marisa Behan

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