Lion, Lion by Miriam Busch and Larry Day

LionLionCoverLion, Lion is a picture book about a little boy who’s looking for Lion. He encounters a giant, vaguely threatening lion, and tension increases when the lion says he’s looking for lunch. I don’t want to give too much away, but the boy endeavors to help him find some lunch. Along the way, the boy proves himself to be exceedingly clever, as he discovers many ways to irritate the lion. The illustrations that accompany these pages are hysterical. My daughters delighted in describing all of the things happening to the lion, and then were extremely satisfied by the surprise ending (I recall gasps of “OHHH” the first time we read it.)

My children continue to enjoy this book, reveling in “predicting” the ending. They know something that the lion doesn’t know. While the story is sly, the illustrations are also fun to look at again and again. Larry Day does wonderful things with scale, and the second to last spread is simply delightful. While the lion is big and menacing, he’s not overtly scary, so the book is accessible to my younger daughter. Plus, it’s hard to take a lion too seriously when there’s a snapping turtle hanging from his ear.

Signed copy. I'm kind of a big deal.

Signed copy. I’m kind of a big deal.

The final page turn confirms the acumen of Busch and Day as an author/illustrator team. I look forward to their next book, Raisin, the Littlest Cow, due out next winter. For now, I highly recommend that you purchase Lion, Lion.

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Josh Hammond writes things. He has an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Hamline University.

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