Tuesday, May 17, 2016

A Hungry Lion or a Dwindling Assortment of Animals by Lucy Ruth Cummins (Simon and Schuster Children's Books)

There's a glorious picture book mechanism which we don't have an official label for...
We unreservedly refer to it as "The Double Pump" - It's a bit like a plot twist but just when you're comfortable with the way you think the story has ended, it throws another variable into the mix "double pumping" the twist back in on itself.

It's something that picture book megastars like Jon Klassen and Adam Stower are absolute masters of.

Now you can add Lucy Ruth Cummins to the roster as her new book "A Hungry Lion" performs the most delicious double-pump that we couldn't help loving it to tiny little bits.

The setup is simple. You're introduced to a rather smug (and sneakily smiling) Lion, and a variety of lovely adorable animals. There's a gadabout bat, a cute pair of piccies, a flop-eared bunny (and a non-flop-eared variety), a cute little timid kitten and a shy turtle.

As you turn the page, you realise someone's gone missing. The lion is still there, and still carries a wry smile but the larger of the two piggies has gone! Another turn of the page and more animals are missing. But each time there sits Lion, looking VERY pleased with himself.

So you're probably thinking you know where those animals are by now. I love the fact that the book gives you a bit of a memory test as you try to work out who's missing each time you turn over but the best is yet to come as you realise where the animals are and...

Oops. Spoilers! We've said far more than we ought to, but remember what we said at the top of the review about a double pump so brilliantly executed that this book made us cackle out loud! Fans of "I Want My Hat Back" and "Troll and the Oliver" are going to love this to pieces!

Charlotte's best bit: The second twist is fantastic, genuinely made her giggle like mad!

Daddy's favourite bit: What a brilliantly clever and wonderfully executed story. This is going to be demanded again, and again, and again!

(Kindly sent to us for review by Simon and Schuster Children's Books)

"A Hungry Lion or a Dwindling Assortment of Animals"

Written and Illustrated by Lucy Ruth Cummins

Published by Simon and Schuster Children's Books

Publication Date: 16th April 2016

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