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Theodore, a little mouse, lives with a lizard that can grow a new tail, a frog that can swim underwater, and a turtle that can close up like a box. But Theodore has no special talents of his own. When he discovers a mushroom that says "Quirp," Theodore tells his friends that this is the only talking mushroom in the world, and that "quirp" means that he should be venerated above all animals. The word spreads, and Theodore is bestowed with a crownuntil the truth comes out. When his friends learn that theyve been deceived, Theodore discovers that he does have a special talentrunning away very fast!
This tall tale provides an excellent starting-point for discussions of honesty.
Leo Lionni, an internationally known designer, illustrator, and graphic artist, was born in Holland and lived in Italy until he came to the United States in 1939. He was the recipient of the 1984 American Institute of Graphic Arts Gold Medal and was honored posthumously in 2007 with the Society of Illustrators Lifetime Achievement Award. His picture books are distinguished by their enduring moral themes, graphic simplicity and brilliant use of collage, and include four Caldecott Honor Books: Inch by Inch, Frederick, Swimmy, and Alexander and the Wind-Up Mouse. Hailed as "a master of the simple fable" by the Chicago Tribune, he died in 1999 at the age of 89.
"A fresh and relevant fable about peer pressure, self-esteem, and the consequences of telling a whopper. The droll sponge-textured collage artwork, vocabulary-stretching language, and subtly expressed themes make this a great choice for more sophisticated picture book readers." School Library Journal