FICTION

The Lion Inside

illus. by Jim Field. 32p. Scholastic. Jun. 2016. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780545873505.
COPY ISBN
PreS-Gr 2—Field's impressive array of perspectives enhances Bright's rhyming text about a downtrodden mouse who longs to live large. Comical cartoon critters of the savanna seem sympathetic to the mouse's leonine ambitions, which lead him to request instruction from the regal roarer himself, despite the possibility of becoming a meal. Tables turn when our mouse is forced to allay the lion's fear of rodents, and the two become pals who together roar with laughter, since "We all have a mouse and a lion inside." Bright's language play ("tinyful," "tippity-toes") works well with Field's hysterical expressions and spot-on composition arrangements.
VERDICT There's much to enjoy here, but the basic tale is well-worn. A solid addition for storytime sharing.

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