Book Review: How to Hide a Lion by Helen Stephens

how to hide a lionSynopsis: What would you do if you found a lost, lonely lion hiding in your garden? 

This questions forms the premise of Helen Stephens’ wonderfully beautiful story – where can young Iris hide a huge lion?

One balmy, summery day, a lion casually strolls into a busy, crowded market square to buy a hat (of course!). The mean townspeople are afraid of him and chase the poor ‘king of the beasts’ away. He seeks shelter and refuge in a playhouse. Soon he is found by a brave little girl called Iris. Together the two play and are soon friends, but Mum finds the lion and once again he is forced to flee into the dark, cold night. Will Iris see her friend again? Can the lion stop two wicked burglars and change the mind of the townspeople?

Themes:  Friendship, acceptance, tolerance, helping others.

Why you should read it:  What a hoot! I loved this! A delightful, gentle, witty story about friendship, imagination, play, family and acceptance. The book has a classic but fresh, warm feel to it and there’s plenty for young readers to explore. It left me hoping that I too might bump into a friendly lion in the garden. A wonderful way to explore with young children the idea of acceptance and how we treat others.

Cross-curricular links: PSHE (acceptance, friendship), Science (animals and habitats), English (instructions and reports – how to look after a lion/ how to hide a lion; newspaper reports and witness statements about the burglary) Maths (measurement – weight and length of different animals, which lion tail is longer/shorter).

To support the children’s understanding, you could also watch ‘Hide and Seek with the Lion Cubs’ here!

Perfect for: Children aged 5-7. You can find a book guide on The Literacy Shed Plus website. 

Published by: Scholastic/ Alison Green Books

There’s a lovely book trailer about Helen Stephens’ next book ‘How to hide a lion at Christmas’ here! 

Please do leave a comment if you have used this book in your own classroom and how you used it!

Buy here!

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