Limit this search to....

How to Be a Lion
Contributor(s): Vere, Ed
ISBN: 0525578056     ISBN-13: 9780525578055
Publisher: Doubleday
    OUR PRICE: $16.20  
Product Type: Hardcover
Published: June 2018
Annotation: From the New York Times bestselling author/illustrator of Max the Brave comes an inspiring and adorable picture book about a pair of unlikely friends who face down a pack of bullies.

In this timely and charming story about the importance of being true to yourself, mindfulness, and standing by your friends, we meet Leonard, a lion, and his best friend Marianne, a . . . duck. Leonard and Marianne have a happy life together—talking, playing, writing poems, and making wishes—until one day a pack of bullies questions whether it's right for a lion and a duck to be pals. Leonard soon learns there are many ways to be a lion, and many ways to be a friend, and that sometimes finding just the right words can change the world . . .

This sweet, funny, thoughtful, and much-needed story will open up readers' eyes to the importance of being who they are and not backing down to hurtful criticism. It's an empowering tale about connecting with others and choosing kindness over bullying, and shows children how angry and provocative words can be overcome by empathy and inner courage.

Nominated for the 2019 Kate Greenaway Medal and the 2019 Carnegie Medal

★ "Positive role models showing boys how to be a whole person are few and far between these days. This marvelous book triumphs in that essential job."—Kirkusstarred review

"Children will feel empowered after reading such a deliberate story of unyielding strength and self-awareness. Thoughtful and provocative words to live by."—School Library Journal

"A gentle, Ferdinand-like soul. . . . Vere's fable makes a watertight—and charming—case for ignoring the pressures of conformity."—Publishers Weekly

"gently reminiscent of Winnie the Pooh"—BookTrust
Additional Information
Library of Congress Subjects:
Individuality; Fiction.
Lion; Fiction.
Ducks; Fiction.
BISAC Categories:
- Juvenile Fiction | Social Issues | Bullying
- Juvenile Fiction | Social Issues | Peer Pressure
- Juvenile Fiction | Animals | Lions, Tigers, Leopards, Etc.
Dewey: [E]
LCCN: 2017038326
Academic/Grade Level: Kindergarten, Ages 5-6
Book type: Easy Fiction
Physical Information: 11.25" H x 8.75" W x 0.25" (0.90 lbs)
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.

Contributor Bio(s): ED VERE is the author and illustrator of numerous picture books, including the New York Times and USA Today bestseller Max the Brave and its sequels Max at Night and Max and Bird. He lives in London, England. Learn more about Ed's work at

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly Reviews (PW Reviews 2018 April #4)

Some people think there's only one way to be a lion, but Leonard is different. A gentle, Ferdinand-like soul, he's likely to be found on his "thinking hill," pondering and making poems. Lions usually devour ducks, but when Leonard meets web-footed Marianne, he asks for help with a poem he's writing, and the two become close friends, taking long walks and looking at the stars. When bullying lions try to intimidate Leonard into behaving the way other lions do ("Not chomping a duck? You've gone too far!"), Leonard and Marianne collaborate on a declaration in verse: "If there must be a must,/ then this we must try.../ Why don't you, be you.../ And I, will be I." The story's confiding, narrative voice draws readers in close, while bold, scrabbly ink lines by British author-illustrator Vere (the Max picture books) add life and giggles to Leonard and Marianne's friendship. Vere's fable makes a watertight—and charming—case for ignoring the pressures of conformity. Ages 4–8. Agent: Barry Goldblatt Literary. (June)

Copyright 2018 Publishers Weekly.

Reviewed by School Library Journal Reviews (SLJ Reviews 2018 June)

PreS-Gr 3—Leonard is a lion like no other. Everyone thinks he should be a fierce and accomplished hunter. Instead, Leonard is gentle with a gift for putting words together in beautiful and creative ways. Leonard's friendship with Marianne, a poetic duck, surprises and infuriates many. Will Leonard and Marianne be able to withstand the judgment of others and grow their unique and lasting bond of friendship? This is a book that challenges children's assumptions and demonstrates that situations look different from different perspectives. It champions staying true to oneself and sticking to one's principles and by one's friends regardless of what others think. The book also beautifully highlights the power and beauty of the written and spoken word. The thick black outlines and blocks of reds, yellows, and oranges against stark black-and-white backgrounds represent the boldness in both text and message. VERDICT Children will feel empowered after reading such a deliberate story of unyielding strength and self-awareness. Thoughtful and provocative words to live by.—Amy Shepherd, St. Anne's Episcopal School, Middleton, DE

Copyright 2018 School Library Journal.