Don't you just love this cover? It's so bold and simply says 'Ready to go on a beautiful wordless romp with me?'I love how many of the images take up vast areas of the page and make the book feel bigger than it really is. I also love how there are some images in smaller frames, but only the ones where we need to pay special attention to some detail in the picture. There's so much to talk about with this fantastic book!
This book is TREMENDOUS! To me, it epitomizes everything the Caldecott Award is about -- excellence in illustration for children. The beautiful paintings tell the story so well, the expressions on the animals are so well done; when I've come to the end of the story, I can't wait to look through it again, and I notice new things with each reading. Very well done.
The extra large illustrations are just outstanding in this book. What draws you into the illustrations though is the blending of colors that gives you a feeling that the lion is 3 dimensional. The lion illustrations also remind you that a lion is a very powerful animal and don't forget it. Even in the illustration where all that is shown are the feet of the lion you still feel their is great strength here. There isn't a need for words with illustrations like the ones in this book. Hey, there is even great end pages too. Make sure you get a chance to look at this book.
The story unfolds clearly and simply. The only “words” are the sounds of the Serengeti plain – the screech of an owl, the squeak of the mouse, the putt-putt of the hunter’s truck, the roar of the trapped lion. The pencil, watercolor, and colored pencil illustrations on paper, are simply stunning, conveying both the vastness and majesty of the African Serengeti and the myriad emotions of the lion and the mouse as they encounter each other by chance and again by purpose. The soft butter-yellow pages blend artfully with the earthy hues of Africa’s birds, plants, insects and wildlife. A beautiful book! (I thought this was my favorite book of the year until I saw 14 Cows for America.)
Endpaper to endpaper -- thank you Jerry Pinkney! This is a real kid-pleaser -- my two-year-old granddaughters have been growling and squeaking and acting out the book since they first read it.