Review Blog

Mar 20 2018

A lion is a lion by Polly Dunbar

cover image

Walker Books, 2018. ISBN 9781406371536
(age: 4+) Recommended. Themes: Humour, Proverbs, Lions. This initially tongue in cheek look at a lion charming his way into the family, doing things that lions definitely do not do: walking down the street with an umbrella, swinging on a lamp post, wearing a jaunty hat, then coming inside to sit down with the children at lunch time begs the readers to be wary of the lion.
The question is always there, that despite appearances, is the lion still a lion. At first he is shown wearing his hat. Then he adds another piece of clothing to his body, entering the home of the two children ready for lunch. He plays with them in the house, swinging them around and listening to the music. Sitting down to lunch at the table, he eats all his greens, but after lunch he wants desert. His demenour changes, his teeth look much bigger than before, his eyes more cruel. The children realsie that he is still a lion and get rid of him from their home. So the lion is still a lion despite appearances and the words that come from his mouth. A lesson to be learnt, and children will be encouraged to discuss what they can do when confronted by someone or something which appears benign but is not.
Several proverbs spring to mind when reading this book, proverbs that can be shared with the readers. A leopard cannot not change his spots, beware of strangers, once an eagle - always an eagle, a wolf in sheep's clothing, don't judge a book by its cover, and so on. These could be discussed with the class or readers as the book is read, and lead on to many discussions after the book has been put aside.
And it makes a wonderful read aloud. Roar.
Fran Knight

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