The Lion Inside

This evening, whilst playing with his construction rigs’ puzzles, I heard little gosling say “oh my gosh”! It’s an expression I don’t use and he only ever hears English from me… Incredulous and intrigued, I made sure I had heard well: “Did you just say *oh my gosh?!” He replies affirmatively. I continue: “Where did you hear that?” He candidly says : “the book with the lion and the mouse inside”. 

For the first time in many weeks, we pulled out Rachel Bright and Jim Field’s “The lion inside” before bedtime. And surely enough, there it was! The expression! In the mouse’s reflection before he confronts the lion 😅! What an amazing memory capacity young kids have! 

I love the brown and yellow colours of this book; I can actually feel like being under a hot, slow, blazing sun. Not that I am a heat person, au contraire! But the illustrations are so attractive that I feel transported from the first rhyme. I find it makes such a great read-aloud. The rhyme is irresistibly inviting for acting out and trying different voices, tones and rhythm of narration. And it is paired so well with the illustrations. Amazingly expressive!! I find them equally hilarious (the lion) and endearing (the mouse). It vividly reminds me of Madagascar, the animated movie. The perspective on the characters shifts from one page to the next, it really feels like filmed, alternating between close-ups, long shots, looking upwards or downwards..

This is the story of the tiniest mouse, ignored and forgotten by all other animals in the savannah, getting the courage to confront the shouty and touch lion that lives on top of the rock at the bottom of which he has its home, to ask for his help to learn how to roar. That way, he thinks, he could make friends and enjoy his life more! To his great surprise, the lion is as scared of the mouse as the mouse is of the lion. So they end up being best friends, sharing their loneliness and, in the process, become better and happier versions of themselves, one more self-confident, the other more relaxed. It’s about courage, overcoming one’s fears, learning that appearances can be deceiving and that life can be utterly surprising! 

Little gosling’s favourite bit is the description of the mouse’s sorrows. We act out together the antelopes looking around puzzled, not knowing where the voice is coming from and the sounds the mouse makes when getting trod on and sat on… He is so sweet moving his head from side to side and squeaking “who? Where? Who? Where?” :)))

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