The Lion Inside (Rachel Bright)

Hello, friends! Our book today is The Lion Inside, written by Rachel Bright and illustrated by Jim Field, a charming tale of finding one’s courage.

In the middle of an African plain, there is a very tall rock. At the very bottom of the towering landmark, there is a teeny tiny house, where lives the meekest little brown mouse. The poor mouse is so small, he often gets overlooked, excluded, even stepped on. It’s a lonely life, and he wishes he could be more like his neighbor on top of the rock – the boss lion. Because of the lion’s strength, leadership, and mighty roar, all the animals respect and admire him, especially the little mouse. One night, the mouse has an epiphany: perhaps, if he had a mighty roar of his own, he could get the attention of the other animals. He would still be a mouse, but perhaps the others would realize he was there and include him in their social circles. However, he realizes that the best one – the ONLY one – who can teach him this skill is the boss lion himself! Gathering his courage, Mouse sets up to the top of the rock, but will his quest be met with success? Or will he end up as – gulp! – a lion’s snack?

Very cute. The story does a good job of setting up the mouse’s struggles, especially that his aim in learning to roar is simply to be noticed and included – an understandable wish. The twist, in which we find that the lion is terrified of mice, is clever – the mouse is friendly and he and the lion become fast friends. It’s a good way of illustrating that everyone is afraid of something, and that our courage can often be found in our kindness. The illustrations are bright and energetic, with great character design and dynamic angles. The length was good, and JJ loved it! A sweet and encouraging tale, and it’s Baby Bookworm approved!

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