Review Blog

Sep 10 2012

In the lion by James Foley

cover image

Walker Books, 2012. ISBN 9781 921720 32 1.
(Ages: 3+) Highly recommended. Picture book. Zoos. From the open mouthed lion on the front cover to the lion's tail swishing the key to its cage on the end paper, this is a treat for all.
A boy and his family go to the zoo, and the lad watches as several people enter the lion's cage, each to preform a task. The dentist with his long toothbrush, the hairdresser with her giant comb, the chef and the zookeeper, all disappear, while the lion's tummy gets to be enormous. A number of nearby animals also disappear, the walrus, a flamingo, two spider monkeys and an armadillo! That is until the lad takes charge, and using the toothbrush as a lever is able to get them all out.
A lovely tale told in the form of The old lady who swallowed a fly, with each succeeding sentence reprising all that has gone before, younger readers and even younger listeners will love to add to the refrain as it swings across the next page. They will laugh with delight at predicting the next line, and at the antics of the animal in question and the part played by the visiting boy.
Graphite drawings and digital colour are wonderfully used in the illustrations, with bright bold colours and minutely detailed animals and patrons covering all the pages. This is a funny book from start to finish and sharp eyed readers will see a lot more in the illustrations. The naughty twins of the dedication seem to be the crying twins in the book, but they will please the eye of the readers when perusing the range of patrons visiting the zoo that day.
The title begs the reader to add 'den' or 'mouth', and the story could be paired with many other zoo picture books, as well as the old favourite poem, The lion and Albert (there is a wonderful rendition of the poem on Youtube), or the tale of Daniel in the lion's den, or the Aesop fable of The Lion and the mouse.
Fran Knight

BUY IT NOW ON booktopia
Archived Blog Entries
Latest News
CBCA shortlists 2017
2017 ABIA longlist
The Stella Prize shortlist for 2017
YA Book Prize 2017 shortlist
Reading Children's book prize shortlist
Indie Book Awards 2017
CILIP Carnegie Medal 2017 shortlist
CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal 2017 shortlist
School Library Association Information Book Award 2017
2017 UKLA Book Awards shortlists
National Simultaneous Storytime 2017

ReadPlus Features
Print similar authors bookmark
Read similar authors
How to find lesson plans
Sample theme animation

Promote Reading
Staff holiday reading list 2016
South Australian Christian Schools Conference 2016 - Library Displays
Display calendars
Science fiction and fantasy lists SAETA conference 2015
Value of School Libraries
Library, Reading development and the Internet
Free Rights of the Reader Poster
Reviews: Author index
Books for boys
Bookmark and poster templates