Reviews for The lion inside

Book list
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

A tiny brown mouse with large ears and a bandaged tail lives beneath a rock pillar on an African plain. Timid and easy to overlook, the mouse got stepped on and sat on . . . . / ignored and forgotten, until one night he gets an idea. He will learn to roar like the shouty, proud lion who resides on top of Mouse's rock. With a little more grrrrrrrr in him, Mouse is sure the other animals will take notice, and maybe even be his friend. After consulting his bookshelf, Mouse realizes he needs more than a book to learn a proper roar; he must speak to the lion, face to face. Gulp! Mouse's journey is sweet and comical by turns, with a satisfying end. Bright's sing-song rhyme offers young readers a familiar story of courage and friendship, but Field's illustrations are what make it worth another look. Using the browns and golds of the Serengeti, his paintings dominate each page, where the adorable, big-eared mouse will easily win over readers.--Smith, Julia Copyright 2016 Booklist

Publishers Weekly
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With his bright saucer eyes and huge winglike ears, Mouse looks like he wouldn't fade into any background. And yet, "He got stepped on and sat on./ He missed out on stuff./ Ignored and forgotten.../ his mouse life was tough." Watching how the "shouty and proud" Lion dominates, Mouse decides that he needs to add a roar to his repertoire, and he risks being eaten to offer himself up as a pupil to Lion. But Mouse soon discovers that having a big roar isn't synonymous with having a perfect, fearless life. Bright (the Love Monster books) seems to leave no self-help bromide unturned ("It felt like the scariest thing he could do.../ But if you want things to change, you first have to change you"). But Field (Frog on a Log?) is in top form, offering so many imaginative framings (several spreads contain multiple vignettes, each one a winner) and irreverent characterizations (Lion is a Miles Gloriosus with a mane) that readers will feel carried along by his visual and comedic generosity. Ages 3-5. (May) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

School Library Journal
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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.-Gay Lynn Van Vleck, Henrico County Library, Glen Allen, VA Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

A timid mouse decides that he must risk confronting a lion in order to make himself heard. After setting the scene on the African veldt, rhyming verse informs readers that under a "mighty flat rock" there lives, in a "tinyful house," the "littlest, quietest, / meekest brown mouse." Next, readers learn that the mouse's life is lonely and even dangerous because no one notices him. (He is depicted being stepped on and sat upon, ballooning, Pepto-pink speech bubbles expressing his pain.) His miserable life is contrasted to that of the lion on top of the rock, who resembles a benign version of Scar in Disney's The Lion Kingindeed, the illustrations borrow much from 20th-century animation aesthetics. There ensue funny pictures of the lion flexing his muscles and preening. Boastful, strong, and arrogant, he uses his roar to cement his leadership. The mouse decides that if he learns to roar, he too will "make friends and join in." His large, yellow eyes glow with fear as he looks up from his book, How to Roar, and realizes that only a visit to the lion will enable him to learn that skill. He fears being the lion's dinner, "but if you want things to change, / you first have to change you." This odd mix of realistic fears and glib platitudes continues as two expected outcomes (neither one dire) occur, the greatest platitude of all contained in the final, unprovable lines: "no matter your size, / We all have a mouse / AND a lion inside." Mostly funny and fun to read but slightly off-kilter. (Picture book. 3-6) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.