Hello, everyone! 🙂

I’m very excited to write this post, because today marks the beginning of something special: MR celebration party of the ALA Youth Media Winners!

As written in Multiculturalism Rocks! brief introduction, the blog celebrates multicultural books and the people who make it happen. Any award won by a multicultural book is therefore a cause of great joy! MR will celebrate all the winners one book at the time, throughout the year. So stop by anytime, you never know if you’ll stumble upon a party!

And without further ado, let’s open the celebration with a version of an Aesop Tale, winner of the Caldecott Medal (most distinguished American picture book for children):

THE LION & THE MOUSE, by award wining author and illustrator Jerry Pinkney.

Here is a review by Elizabeth Bird, available on the School Library Journal website.

Click here for an interview of Jerry Pinkney with Sally Lodge, of Publishers Weekly.

In some countries, like in Cameroon–Africa, a party generally lasts days (yep, you read well. Days of dancing, and singing, and eating together and being happy). Guess what we’re going to do here? 😀

When does the party start?

7 days, until Feb. 1 included.

What can I bring?
Your happy self! 🙂

How do we proceed?
It’s simple. Have you read the book? Share your favorite moments, i.e. the joy it brought, the questions it raised…In summary, let us know why you like it! If you haven’t yet, check it as soon as possible in local bookstore or library! 🙂

Ready? You get to make a difference in a child’s life, especially in a child in crisis. For every 5 comments left on this Celebration page, a new copy of the Lion & the Mouse will be donated to a literacy program for children. Only one entry per person will be taken into account. All the copies will go to the same organization.

The Recipients
The books will be donated to the Multicultural Writers Guild, Inc (MWG), for inner city schools in the South Bronx, in New York. Here’s a statement from MWG’s website:

“Multicultural Writers Guild, Incorporated (MWG, Inc.) was founded in 2001. MWG, Inc. is a literary arts & entertainment organization whose primary focus is to promote literacy among economically disadvantaged communities.”

In addition, Multiculturalism Rocks! will make a donation to Libraries Without Borders, a non-profit helping build libraries, and already established schools and libraries in New Orleans, Haiti, and in developing nations affected by natural disasters. The organization is currently focused on helping not only the victims in Haiti, but on making sure that Haiti cultural legacy makes it through the tragedy that hit the island. Please visit their website: http://www.librarieswithoutborders.org/

You already know this, but I’ll say it nevertheless: every time you comment on a blog focused on books about POC (people of color), you make a difference. You do not only encourage the blogger, but most importantly you show your support to writers of color and their work, and to all authors who feature POC in their art or writing. So be vocal. Visit the sites listed in the blog roll. Your comments matter and make a difference. 🙂

I’m looking for an acronym for this event. CAWMCB–Celebration of Award Winning Multi-Cultural Books doesn’t seem right, does it? In addition to following the above guidelines, the reader coming up with the best acronym will receive a ‘surprise’ copy of one of Mr. Pinkney’s books! The acronym will be used to create a banner for Multiculturalism Rocks! celebrations event.

Now, let’s the party begin! Check the Lion and the Mouse at your local bookstore or library if you haven’t read it yet, and come back to comment!:D

Have a wonderful week,

Note: Libraries Without Borders was found thanks to the ALA’s page on books donation programs.
Updated 01/27/2010 to add info about the Recipients.

Update 02/13/2010: 3 books have been donated to Libraries Without Borders. To read more about the outcome of the celebration, click here! 🙂

7 thoughts on “Let’s The Party Begin: The Lion & The Mouse, by Jerry Pinkney!

  1. We looked at this book during our last regional scbwi meeting! Wow! My childhood love affair with Aesops fables and the joy that went along with that came flooding back! 😀 breathtaking illustration!

    Re:acronym. How about mccawb (sounds like macabre lol)
    multi-cultural celebration of award winning books?
    Yeah yeah. I’ll keep thinking! 😀


  2. Yes! What a wonderful book to celebrate! I think this is Jerry’s first Caldecott win out of a whole slew of prestigious awards he’s accumulated since the 1960’s.
    I actually saw him present his work a couple of years back at the SCBWI Winter Conference. I was a complete newbie back then so little did I know I was in the presence of a genious!

    That’s wonderful news about the potential donation! And I guess I ‘ll have to think a little more about the acronym…


  3. @ Stacee: lol, you had me smile! MCCAWB? It reminds me of Irish or Scottish names starting with Mc… 😀 More seriously, thank you. Ditto about the Aesop Fables!

    @ Tamara: You met Jerry Pinkney?!!! *insert scream here* <= I'm kidding! The donation is a done thing actually, regardless of the number of comments the post will get. I will update soon to introduce the recipient(s). Thanks, Tamara! 🙂


  4. The story of the lion and the mouse has always moved me. I saw Jerry Pinkney’s glorious interpretation on opening day of the new Books Inc.in Berkeley and couldn’t leave the store
    without it. I’ve loved Pinkney’s work for years.

    Last year, at one of the Kid Lit Salon meetings I had the pleasure of talking with Robert D. San Souci whose book The Talking Eggs was illustrated by Jerry Pinkney. Pinkney’s books are true treasures which must be passed down from generation to generation.


    1. Pat, may I express that I see jealousy’s glowing eyes lurking in the darkness of my working space? 🙂 I’m so glad for you! I hope to have the pleasure of attending on of his event in the future. His work is currently exhibited at the New York Public Library if I remember well… *sigh*


  5. The Lion and the Mouse is such a wonderful book. So glad it won the Caldecott.

    I think the most striking thing about it for me is the space Pinkney opens up for a subtle reinterpretation of the traditional moral of Aesop’s fable. The traditional moral: “Little friends may prove great friends.” Traditionally, then, the story is meant to embolden the meek (“You may be a great friend one day!”) and to encourage the proud to look out for the little guy.

    However, in Pinkney’s version, the moral is not so tightly constrained, largely because the only words Pinkney uses are onomatopoeias. This textually minimal approach lets the story breath in new ways, broadening the possibilities for the story’s moral. While the range of possibilities still includes the traditional moral, in my view the most obvious teaching of Pinkney’s version seems to be that mercy is a virtue. In other words, the moral of Pinkney’s version is that mercy is a good character trait that human beings ought to embody.

    The central aspect of Pinkney’s version that shifts the book toward this interpretation is that since there is no dialogue, we do not get the lion laughing derisively when the mouse suggests that the lion may need her help one day. Rather, all we see is the lion letting the mouse go free, which looks more like an act of mercy than an act inspired by the lion’s arrogant amusement (as in the traditional telling). Moreover, as a result, the mouse’s liberating action looks less like mere payback and more like mercy as well.


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