Because the lion is so big, it always draws the attention when it shows up in a book. Young people pay attention to lions because of their golden mane, champion roar, and king of the jungle vibe. Great lion picture books to make story time roar!
Lion Lessons, by Jon Agee
Jon Agee brings his usual charm and quirky humor to this story about a boy who wants to get a Lion Diploma, like in his other books. He learns from a pro, an intimidating lion with a degree from the “Harvard School of Claw,” which is where he learned how to fight. At first, things don’t look good. The boy’s roar isn’t very strong, and his fangs aren’t very scary. He isn’t as fast as a top-notch lion, and he doesn’t like to eat gnus and antelopes. As time goes on, though, the boy finds his inner lion and earns high marks in school.
Dandelion, by Don Freeman
This book, which was first published in 1964, is one of the best examples of lion literature. Dandelion, who is so cute, gets an invite to Jennifer Giraffe’s “tea-and-taffy party.” Even though the invitation says, “Come as you are,” Dandelion can’t help but get dressed up. After getting a haircut, he gets a perm, a manicure, and a new outfit. Dressed up, Jennifer Giraffe doesn’t notice him until the wind and rain and sun show off the dandy accessories he has on.
Tawny Scrawny Lion, by Kathryn Jackson and Gustaf Tenggren
This well-known story is about a fearsome hunter who is turned into a more relaxed gatherer by a brave bunny. The Tawny Scrawny Lion has to run after animals in order to get his dinner. People can play xylophone music on his out-of-place ribs. A break from running away from the lion is what other animals want. They ask the rabbit to “talk things over with the lion.” If this sounds like a joke, the rabbit does his job well and invites the lion over for carrot stew. The bottom line? There is no way the lion will ever go back to eating meat again.
The Happy Lion, by Louise Fatio and Roger Duvoisin
During the day, the “Happy Lion” smiles down at visitors to a zoo in France. His cage door was open one day, so he decided to go visit his friends in the wild. But when the Happy Lion is outside the zoo, he finds that when he says hello, people yell and throw things at him. Even handbags and vegetables are thrown in his face. Lion: “I think this is how people act when they’re not at the zoo.”
The Lion Inside, by Rachel Bright and Jim Field
Rhyming story: A lion sits on top of a rock and looks out over the savannah. A little mouse can’t get any attention. He comes up with the idea of becoming more like the lion so that he can get some respect in the animal world. Everybody looks up to the lion, so he decides to become more like the lion. He or she first has to make a dangerous climb to the top of a large rock.
Library Lion, by Michelle Knudsen and Kevin Hawkes
Library lion sculptures Patience and Fortitude go together like lion sculptures that guard the entrance to New York Public Library. The lion in this book walks into a peaceful library run by the head librarian, Miss Merriwether. Her assistant, Mr. McBee, is scared by the lion. “Has he broken any rules?” Miss Merriwether wants to know. When Mr. McBee says he isn’t, she says, “Then leave him alone.” Once the lion is taught not to roar, he becomes an important part of the library. He can be used to dust tall bookshelves with his tufted tail and to lean against during story time.
Lion & Tiger & Bear : Tag! You’re it! by Ethan Long
What’s the right amount of time to play with your friends and spend alone?
The lion, tiger, and bear are good friends. There is a time when Tiger and Bear want to play tag, but Lion wants to paint alone. Tiger and Bear try to get Lion to play with them, but their antics don’t work and everyone is angry.
Each person learns why it’s important to have both quiet time and play time in their lives. In the end, Lion has a surprise for his friends.
Caring for Your Lion by Tammi Sauer
This is a must-have book for anyone who wants to keep a lion as a pet. It tells you everything you need to know.
Surprise! You just got a new LION! It’s kitten delivery day. We know that you ordered a kitten, but we don’t have any more of that kind of thing.
Because this big cat comes with instructions, like not to look like a zebra, you don’t have to do it on your own. One of these could be: Give your lion a lot of room to run around and have a blow dryer ready for after-baths. Soon, though, the feathers and fur start to fly and everything is in chaos.
As far as I know, no, there isn’t.
PS: Keep an eye out for the page where the little boy notices that he has a picture of a bunny on his t-shirt and covers it up with his buttoned-up shirt. When kids see this, they start to laugh.
How to Be a Lion by Ed Vere
If you want to learn about lions, this is the book for you. It talks about being true to yourself and being mindful.
Leonard the Lion and Marianne the Duck have an intellectual and happy relationship. They talk, play, and write poems together until a group of bullies question whether it is right for a lion and a duck to be friends. Many ways to be a lion and a friend, and sometimes the right words can change the world.
This is a sweet, thoughtful, and very important story that will help people see how important it is to be who they are and not be afraid to stand up to people who hurt them. Children will learn that angry words can be defeated by empathy and inner strength. It’s an empowering story about connecting with other people and not bullying.