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A lion is a lion
2018
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Summary
Is a lion still a lion if he wears a hat? With whimsical illustrations and a nod to earlier classics, Polly Dunbar celebrates the shrewd mind of a child -- and the power of saying no.

Is a lion still a lion . . . if he skips down the street singing "Hoobie-doobie-doo"?

Dapper in his hat and flourishing a cane, a very large lion invites himself inside, inquires about Auntie Sue, and spins the two children of the house around the room in a silly dance. He doesn't mind at all if they invite him to lunch, where he gobbles up all his greens and devours the plate, too. When he leans in to ask for dessert, his sharp teeth gleam oh so pearly white, and it seems very possible that he may just bite. . . . Surely it's time to go-go-go -- until, that is, the brave little girl finds her voice in a most satisfying way. The Cat in the Hat meets Pierre meets The Tiger Who Came to Tea in this rollicking story with an exhilarating ending.
Trade Reviews
School Library Journal Review
PreS-Gr 1-In this fun and roaring good picture book, Dunbar shares a story about a lion who gives the appearance of a dapper, polite fellow but reveals his true nature when he tries to turn his human hosts into dessert. The narrative proceeds with some rhyme but little rhythm as readers are asked to determine what behavior they would accept from the lion. (Is a lion still a lion if he wears a hat, carries an umbrella, and makes "civilized introductions"?) He appears to be winning over his hosts, but his behavior becomes wilder. Dunbar packs a message of empowerment disguised as whimsy. With her trademark loose lines and ink wash with pops of color, this lion is shooed like a house cat and the nameless sister and brother protagonists shout, "No, you may NOT come in-we DO mind if you do!" VERDICT This lively cautionary tale makes a engaging storytime selection. Recommended for larger collections.-Lisa Lehmuller, Paul Cuffee Maritime Charter School, Providence © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Booklist Review
Two children are home, apparently alone, when a lion comes to visit. Reminiscent of the Cat in the Hat, the lion has a hat, an umbrella, and a jaunty air. He sings, dances, and invites himself to lunch. Signaled by a shift in background color from peaceful white to a dangerously bright red, the fanciful story takes a frightening turn when the lion finishes his meal, then looks to the children as dessert. The children cower under a table until they summon the strength to say, No! The colors change again and the children become physically much larger on the pages. The sister and brother forcefully fill the middle of a two-page spread as they defy the lion and send him away. The illustrations, composed in ink and paint, and rendered digitally, have a vintage feel and keep the overall tone from being too frightening. Children and adults may respond differently to this tale. The humorous aspects will entertain young readers, while adults could use the book as a model to talk to children about setting personal boundaries.--Whitehurst, Lucinda Copyright 2018 Booklist
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