Lion and Mouse by Catalina Echeverri

Rhino’s and lions aren’t always the best of friends but I shall make an exception for this dapper one.

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A mighty lion and a tiny mouse live next to each other and are best friends. The only trouble is Lion thinks he is better than Mouse in every way. And he shows it. Until one day, Mouse is no longer there to listen to Lion’s boasting. When Lion comes face to face with his biggest fear he realises how much he needs and misses Mouse. But will Mouse listen to his calls and come to his rescue? Of course! And in a beautiful and inventive way.

Lion and Mouse is Catalina Echeverri’s first picture book and I think she is one to watch. It’s a funky re-telling and modernisation of a classic tale of friendship. Lion and Mouse really come to life with cleverly drawn expressions and body language. I love their swirly cheeks and the use of pattern on their clothes.

I am really impressed by Echeverri’s use of colour. Blue and yellow backgrounds are used to show character. Blue for Lion and yellow for Mouse, the blue always centre stage and creeping in and overpowering the yellow.

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And then the big, black dark. The rescue page is a triumph. I won’t post a photo of it here because it is too gorgeous to spoil- go and get yourself a copy and see for yourself!

Mouse and Lion are reunited thanks to Mouse’s daring rescue and they have a great big hug – on a bright green background. Their colours have come together, just as they have. Just gorgeous. For the last few pages the colours are reversed and mixed to show Lion and Mouse happily playing together and sharing their strengths. Brilliant! Also check out the end papers to see how even their houses have changed to represent their new-found equality.

I love that children will get so much more out of this book than the surface story. They are innately visual and will subconsciously take in all the background colour work. They will understand the use of size difference and how it relates to character and they will soak up so much more than the heartwarming message of friendship.

I’m looking forward to seeing what Catalina Echeverri comes up with next. If you are too, you can follow her on twitter here.

Lion and Mouse was published 4th April by Jonathan Cape.

Source: Kindly sent for review by the publisher.

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