The Lion & the Mouse

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Pinkney, Jerry
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Through some error, I purchased another copy of this book. I already had copies of the first and fourth printings. I was ready to dismiss this copy as identical with the latter when I started to notice little differences. I will thus keep the book in the collection as a good example of how a book changes these days in the publishing world. A big change is from Singapore to China as the place of publication. A second change, alas, is in the listed price on the front flyleaf: from $16.99 to $18. If one looks closely, one can notice a change in the formatting of the bar code on the back of the dust-jacket. To my surprise, the location of Little, Brown and Company on the title-page has changed, and there is a new logo. A careful eye will note further changes in the colophon material on the bottom of the Artist's Note page, including the indication of the ninth printing. There is now mention, for example, of persons responsible for design and production. Lift up a rock, and -- my! -- what one might find! I will continue with my comments from the fourth printing. This copy, from the fourth printing, adds a Caldecott Medal Award gold seal on the front dust-jacket. As I wrote there, my form lists Pinkney as the author. Actually, the story of LM is beautifully presented almost without words. The only words one finds here are words like Squeak and Roar. Pinkney himself sums up the tale in the Artist's Note on the last page. On this page one also finds most of the bibliographical information. Pinkney's presentation is strong and winning. As he himself says, he ends up expanding the fable, especially by the inclusion of family. His art still reminds me of Frederick Richardson. The flyleaf is right: this is a stunningly rendered wordless adaptation of one of Aesop's most beloved fables. This is a new fable book that was worth the effort of making a new fable book!
Little Brown and Co. Books for Young Readers,
Little, Brown and Company
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