Friday, 19 December 2014

Booky Advent Calendar Day 19 - "The Stone Lion" by Margaret Wild (Little Hare Publishing)

The Stone Lion

Written and Illustrated by
Margaret Wild

Published by Little Hare Publishing

Though this isn't strictly a Christmas tale, it's the sort of heartwarming story we cannot possibly resist at this time of year. As soon as we saw the cover of Margaret Wild's "The Stone Lion" in the Library we knew we wanted to investigate further. Inside, is the meltingly gorgeous story of a proud stone lion who lives outside a local library. This Lion is magical, and is aware of the things going on around him although he doesn't always know the reason why certain things happen. A young orphan girl and her tiny baby brother often drop by to visit the Stone Lion, to cuddle him and both secretly wish that he could come to life.

A wise old gargoyle who also lives at the library tells the Lion that something magical must happen to bring that Lion to life. It takes a single spark of imagination for the lion to be able to run wild, be free, and breathe.

Day after day the young orphan girl and her baby brother visit, but their condition begins to deteriorate. They're hungry, freezing cold and as weak as kittens and the Lion looks on, powerless to help.

But we all know that magic is never far away and just as all seems lost, the Lion seizes his chance to grasp gasping at life, to save theirs.

I'll warn you now, if you hunt this book down (and it's a bit of a delicious rarity) be prepared to grab a box of tissues because you'll feel like sobbing your heart out, first with sadness then happiness as the tale gently unfolds. It's so atmospheric and just draws you in. The artwork is stunning and sumptuous and it's such an original tale. Do try and find it, even if you're the sensitive weepy type (like me!) It's well worth it.

Charlotte's best bit: When the Lion comes to life and roars for help in the library! Awesome!

Daddy's Favourite bit: A heartwarming heart-melter of a book that might not be christmassy but is utterly perfect for this time of year.