STARRED REVIEW
May 31, 2016

A mighty mighty mouse

By Rachel Bright, illustrated by Jim Field

Big-eyed and bandaged-tailed, Mouse seems destined for a life of solitude, unheard and unseen by the other animals. That is, until he decides to ask someone very grand for advice. A lion could give him a stronger voice. A lion could teach him to stand taller. A lion could EAT HIM. Can Mouse muster the courage to be big? An energetic and heartening story, The Lion Inside brings to mind classic children’s fables, while still feeling fresh and honest.

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Big-eyed and bandaged-tailed, Mouse seems destined for a life of solitude, unheard and unseen by the other animals. That is, until he decides to ask someone very grand for advice. A lion could give him a stronger voice. A lion could teach him to stand taller. A lion could EAT HIM. Can Mouse muster the courage to be big? An energetic and heartening story, The Lion Inside brings to mind classic children’s fables, while still feeling fresh and honest.

Love Monster series author Rachel Bright uses Seuss-like rhymes and rhythms to create a story with momentum and excitement. In another nod to Seuss, Bright throws in the occasional made-up word (my favorite is “tinyful”), which further adds to its charm. Full of descriptive language and visually accented by oversize, exuberant text, The Lion Inside makes for a fun read-aloud for both the reader and the audience.

The second half of this storytime gem is Jim Field, illustrator of Cats Ahoy! and Frog on a Log? Field uses a variety of perspectives (a mouse-eye view up the lion’s nostrils, the lion surveying his domain) to pull the reader into the story. Expressive, big-eyed rhinos, musk oxen, warthogs and lemurs inhabit Field’s world, giving us a sense that we’re eavesdropping on one tiny feature of their enduring world. With vibrantly colored pages, vast grassland vistas and intriguing details, Field’s illustrations will stand out on the bookshelf.

No matter the size of your storytime, be it one child or 50, this story and message is big enough to delight everyone.

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The Lion Inside

The Lion Inside

By Rachel Bright, illustrated by Jim Field
Scholastic
ISBN 9780545873505

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