Catalina Echeverri 
(Jonathan Cape)

Lion and Mouse are the best of friends, who do everything together. But Lion thinks he is better than Mouse in every way, and spends a lot of time boasting about it. When Mouse finally has enough and disappears, Lion does not even notice at first. Until he needs Mouse’s help, and Mouse is nowhere to be found. Will Mouse hear Lion’s plea, and forgive his selfish behaviour?

Lion and Mouse is a vibrant and modern twist of an old tale penned by Aesop amongst others, and touches on an important theme for young readers: friendship, and social behaviour. Stories like this are always going to appeal to preschoolers and young children who are still learning to navigate through unfamiliar social situations. Learning to make friends but also to be a good friend can be tough, especially when dealing with friends such as Lion, who might be a bit more zealous, a bit more dominant, and take others for granted. But despite Lion’s claims of his own magnificence, he has a surprising secret: he is scared of the dark, and only unassuming Mouse can save him from his torment!

The use of colour within the artwork is particularly interesting. Blue for Lion, yellow for Mouse, before they fall out. Then dark creeps up (with striking effect) and when they make up, green becomes the background colour. This symbolic use of colour really helps convey the feelings within this tale which will undoubtedly help young audiences make sense of the conflicting feelings within the tale.

Energetic and quirky, this is a lovely little book which which is a great example of how effective images can be at conveying feeling and meaning, and is a great debut from Catalina Echeverri.

Source: review copy from publisher