Written by Karl Newson Illustrated by Andrea Stegmaier
Quarto Publishing Group – Words & Pictures
Published 18th August 2020
Once upon a time, there was a story in this book… But a lion ate it all.
This is the humorous story of a lion who prides himself on being ‘king’ and living up to typical lion-like behaviour. However, an unlikely soul stands up to him and shows that he can be ‘like the lion in his heart’ instead of eating everything in sight!
One of the most-requested songs in the Nursery group-time chart in the Early Years settings I’ve worked in is the ‘extended version’ of ‘Row, Row, Row your boat.’ Additional verses are added such as, ‘If you see a crocodile, don’t forget to scream,’ ‘If you see a polar bear, don’t forget to shiver’ and of course, ‘If you see a lion, don’t forget to ROAR!’ This book uses the repeated ‘If you see a lion, don’t forget to…’ and children have the opportunity to YELL, SHRIEK and of course…ROAR! Which of course, goes down a storm in nursery and reception!
Pirates and penguins have been scoffed, dinosaurs and dragons have been devoured and trolls and sprites have been swallowed and guess what…? I think we might be next!
But wielding his carrot like a sword, bold little rabbit (who has been popping up on every page trying to warn us) takes on the lion – just look at that expression on his face you wouldn’t mess with him!
I won’t spoil the surprise of exactly how this brave young rabbit, like a knight in furry armour frees his friends but it’s one of those ‘big-moment-in-the-book -when-every-small-child-shouts-one-word-at the-top-of-their-voice-until-they-look-like-they’re-going-to-burst’ kind of moments.
In addition to Early Years, there is also lots of scope to use this book in Key Stage 1 exploring the messages of being true to oneself later on in the story on a deeper level.
I know I’d have lots of fun reading this in class and I’m sure you would too,
But remember, if you see a lion…what are you going to do…?
Thank you to Netgalley and Quatro Publishing group for providing me a digital ARC of ths wonderful book to review.