Author: Rachel Bright
Illustrator: Jim Field
Synopsis: The littlest, meekest mouse decides that he no longer wants to be forgotten and ignored but to learn how to assert himself he’ll need to speak to the lion. Will he survive this encounter without becoming lion’s breakfast?
The Low Down:
Bug has never been afraid of other people just shy, mostly of men. Who can blame him? He spends most of his days with me and, while we’re out and about with friends, most of my friends are female. So, I was a little excited when he began to open up to new people. I think it was because we were inundated with visitors this summer. New people every week, staying with us for at least a couple nights. Bug seemed to thrive with this, finally finding his lion. Not that he’d been terribly mouse-like before. Now he seems to take new people in stride. That doesn’t mean that he loves them right away. My friend Joey brought her husband over and Bug took one look at him and said: “No, Nope.” and walked right out of the room. I’m enjoying watching him explore his new boldness and happy that we have The Lion Inside to relate to.
Rachel Bright’s rhyming story begins by introducing a small but adorably sweet, little brown mouse. He’s so small, he’s difficult to spot on the page sometimes. His personality seems to match his size with a meekness that matches the size of his enormous eyes and ears. He idolizes Lion, who is big, tough, outspoken, and confident. One night, Mouse decides that if he could learn how to roar then people might pay him more attention. He quivers in fear though knowing that the one animal who can teach him this is also a carnivore. Mouse decides it’s worth it and goes to see Lion, who reacts to his presence with a scream. Lion is afraid of mice! In the end, Mouse talks him down and they become fast friends. The parting line of the book is the most memorable, conveying a truth that in day to day life is hard to remember.
“That day they BOTH learned. That, no matter your size, We all have a mouse, AND a lion inside.”
This line isn’t alone though. There are a few times in the story where weighty life advice is delivered to the reader in very digestible pieces. It’s a lovely way to introduce children to these weighty concepts without overwhelming them.
Jim Field does a great job illustrating these points and successfully reiterating the messages through his pictures. We see how small and timid Mouse is, from the breaks in his mouse tail from being trod on to the almost quivering of his ears. In contrast, Lion’s displayed with bright, bold and exciting scenes. All the supporting animals have really been captured by Field and their own unique, individuality. The story and the pictures play off of each other perfectly and made me so pleased to have purchased this for our home library.
- The way Field hides Mouse throughout the beginning of the story is an almost I-spy. Make sure to keep an eye out for this small hero.
- The animals all have very readable expressions. When reading it we make them say little things like: “Ohh! He’s very impressive.” or “Please put my down, Mr. Lion.”
I need more!
Rachel Bright has healthy list of books available including a series about a Love Monster. I’ve seen her Side by Side book on shelves but haven’t picked it up yet. Check out her site below but don’t be surprised not to see The Lion Inside, it’s the same author, I promise. http://www.lookonthebrightside.co.uk
Jim Field has partnered with a few other authors to create some great reads, including Oi Frog! He and Rachel Bright are teaming up again for a story called The Koala Who Could out in September 2016. I for one will be lining up to buy it. http://www.jimfield.co.uk/BOOKS
Add to my library:
UK Amazon:The Lion Inside
US Amazon:The Lion Inside