The Lion and The Mouse Analysis

By: Susanna Fenimore

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The Lion and The Mouse

The Lion and The Mouse will take you on a literary journey where there is no text, and you see two born enemies become friends when it comes down to ones life being threatened, and we learn that help can come from anyone. Even the smallest of creatures.

The Important Stuff

The Literal Elements

The Lion and The Mouse has realistic, detailed illustrations that give the reader the plot without any text. Throughout the story though we can still gather that lion is not fond of the mouse and would rather have him for a snack then a friend. Also through the illustrations, it's gathered that the theme of the story is that even though someone is small, they can still a friend in any given situation.
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How appealing is The Lion and The Mouse to the eye?

When you open up the inside cover of The Lion and The Mouse you see an African Safari scene featuring several different animals such as the lion, elephants, zebras, etc. This is where we learn where the story will be taking place. As well as the outside cover we see the lions family featured. This adds a personal experience to you, as the reader because when you begin to see the lion struggling in a trap, you think of how his family will survive without him. The book itself is wide, which fits the story well and gives more space for the illustrations.
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The illustrations

As stated before this is unlike any ordinary children's story, as to where it features no text and only the occasional sound effect that is drawn into the illustrations. The detailed realistic illustrations are done with watercolor (jerrypinkneyillustratorstudy). When using watercolor the illustrator set's a tone that this story is using natural lighting and because of the variation in hues of a color that can be created with watercolor, the feel of natural lighting is easy to achieve.

Throughout the story, the illustrations are occasionally framed with a small, thin yellowish/gold border (as seen above). On the other occasion the illustrations bleed off the page, like a photograph of nature bleeds off the corners of the picture. The natural elements create the sense of a frame around the characters, as they bleed of the page. This is done to help you focus on the story, and the journey our main characters, the lion, and mouse will go on.

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In the illustration above from The Lion and The Mouse we see the small mouse, who will become the hero in this story. In the illustration the mouse seems to be looking out onto dusk, with no another animal in sight. When the picture is further analyzed you notice the mute colors used in this picture creating a sense of night, wonder, and loneliness with only the natural elements surrounding the rodent.
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In the illustration featured from The Lion in the Mouse (seen above) we can see a panicked, freighted look on the lion as he becomes trapped in a hunter's net and could lose his life very soon. Jerry Pinkey uses his watercolor technique to his advantage when blending the leaves of the tree. Which we can also see are various different shades of green, and add's shadows in the net where we can feel the light isn't touching much.

Where's the text!?

The illustrations tell the story in The Mouse and The Lion, for there is no text. But they do their job, and never once leave you lost in thought. As the story progresses we can feel the build up to the climax, where the lion becomes trapped, and the resolution which follows (the mouse freeing him) where we are left with a sense of completion, and that the story has come full circle with no text at all.
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All in All

The Lion and The Mouse is a great story for a child who could be in a horrible bullying situation and needs to see the little guy is the one who is the true hero, or if you just need a simple picture book to help take your mind off of things as an adult. This storybook has illustrations that will absorb you into them, and make you feel as if you are right there seeing the whole situation play out.