Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Artistic Literacy

Some books are works of art! Last weekend we received one of these from a dear family friend. It doesn't have any words except for a few animal sounds. Even the cover (if I can get my daughter to stop taking off the dust cover) is just one stunning image - the face of a majestic lion.

The artist, Jerry Pinkney, tells a story with his artwork. The simple yet meaningful story of 'The Lion and the Mouse.' My daughter loves animals so there's plenty to talk about. And the lack of text means we take our time on each page, exploring the details of each one and talking about what is happening. For the past few nights, my husband has been reading it with her at bedtime. After lights are off and I lie down for a few mommy-cuddles as she falls asleep, my daughter whispers (with hand gestures) her recollections of the story. 'Nibble, nibble, nibble... the mouse nibbles... snap... the net breaks... the lion can get out... baby chews on mommy's tail... lion gonna eat the mouse?... let him go...' Over and over again as she processes it. It happens to also be a great story, with the tiny mouse being able to help his big friend. (My daughter is very into 'big' and 'small' right now.)

I love that this book shows that a story can be told without words. And we will definitely have to look for more Pinkney art. A Google search reveals that his work will be at the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge in a couple of weeks. We'll have to make it out there!


  1. So glad you found this beautiful book. :) For another wordless author check out David Wiesner.

    If you want company, we would love to go with you to the Museum to see Pinkney's art.

  2. Okay.. let's keep in touch about it. I def want to go!


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