Friday, August 10, 2018

ReadItDaddy's Book of the Week - Week Ending 10th August 2018: "How to be a Lion" by Ed Vere (Picture Puffin)

Our Picture Book of the Week this week is definitely one for fellow daydreamers. Here's "How to be a Lion" by Ed Vere...
Quite often on the blog we see picture books with loud noisy kids, sometimes annoyingly loud and noisy kids who seem to get through the story being outgoing, bordering on thoroughly brattish.

Stories that celebrate the thinkers, the quiet introverts, the gentle daydreamers are few and far between so it's a delight to see such a book from someone who has graced this humble blog with many, many fantastic books over the years we've been writing this.

Ed Vere's "How to be a Lion" introduces Leonard. Leonard is the sort of lion who loves to compose poetry. Who loves to sit atop his thinking hill thinking deep thoughts about the universe or even the world around him.

The other lions think Leonard should go around doing what lions do. Generally roaring loudly, menacing smaller creatures - being a bit of a bully really. But Leonard disagrees, and when he meets a diminutive little duck called Marianne, the two become firm friends.

This, of course, grates with the other lions - but Leonard can be fierce when he's defending his new best friend from being savaged and crunched!

Both Leonard and Marianne come up with a fantastic idea to calm those fierce beasts but will their plan work?

Ed's gift is that he can take a story idea and marry it to the most gorgeously expressive illustrations. Each and every spread features gloriously subtle colour palettes but it's in his lovely scrubbly linework and the amazing way he can give Leonard and pals the perfect facial expressions each time that helps his stories win out.

It's absolutely fabulous stuff this, and Leonard is a lion who has found his way firmly into our hearts.

C's best bit: Leonard needing to show his fierce side to defend his friend, but also coming up with a better way to beat bullying roaring lions.

Daddy's favourite bit: Just such sublime work, full of neat little touches and glorious illustrative moments of genius. Perfection!

"How to be a Lion" by Ed Vere is out now, published by Picture Puffin (kindly supplied for review).