Monday, April 18, 2016

Feel Good Pick: The Lion Inside

The Lion Inside
by Rachel Bright
Illustrations by Jim Field
Scholastic Press
32 pages
ISBN: 9780545873505

Available May 31, 2016

The Lion Inside is magical, whimsical, and funny! 

A loud and boisterous lion lives atop a giant rock while  his mouse neighbor  lives in a little "tinyful house." The lion lords his loudness and strength over all the other animals and they LISTEN to him. The mouse longs to be heard by the other animals, and one night he  gets a brilliant idea: he will learn to roar like the lion. If he had that kind of roar surely others would be his friends. The mouse sets off to talk to the lion to ask him for lessons in roaring. "It was time to be strong, take a chance...' and then the mouse feels, "It felt like the scariest thing he could do...but if you want to change, you first have to change you." ( My favorite wisdom right here in this book!) The mouse climbs the rock and the lion is terrified of mice! The mouse reassures the lion that he comes in peace as a friend and the two become inseparable buddies, "..that day they both learned that, no matter what your size, we all have a mouse AND  a lion inside."

Green and gold illustrations capture the magic of the African plains. Funny illustrations of the mouse reading a book "How to Roar" and the mouse struggling not be be stepped on by giant animal feet will delight young readers. The best children's books have whimsy, tell a story and teach a lesson without being preachy.  The Lion Inside teaches readers that even if you are small, you can still be heard. The character and fun of the animals is captured by each of Jim Field's brilliant illustrations. This is a true story of an unlikely pair who become friends forever.

Rachel Bright's writing is kid silly and parents will smile as they read that the lion is "toothy" and that on top of his rock it's "LION o'clock." He is also described as "SHOUTY and PROUD." Made up words like "weeniest" and "tinyful" add to the whimsy feel of the rhyming text. I love the fact that the lion's rock is nicer now that he has a friend to share it with. The lion forgets to roar and laughter now comes out when he opens his mouth. What a wonderful concept! 

This little book will be a childhood favorite and on top of the must read before bedtime lists. If you have a child or grandchild, this book is a sure keeper and a gem. The lessons of friendship, bravery, charity, and love are timeless and this book is so much more than a children's book.

Recommended ALL AGES. We can all learn something from this treasure!

Highly, highly recommended. So highly recommended I wish I had a little one to read this to!

FTC Required Disclaimer: I received the F & G from the publisher. I did not receive monetary compensation for this review.

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