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Christian the Lion Hardcover – March 10, 2009


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 950L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers (March 10, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385738560
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385738569
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.6 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #141,340 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 3-6–Christian the lion lived in London with two antique dealers until they decided he needed to be trained to survive in the wild and live out a happier life in Africa. Bourke and Rendall tell this strange tale of buying the lion cub in a department store, giving him the run of their home and store, and introducing him to their life in the thick of the city. They describe where he liked to sit, what he liked to do, and how he reacted to new situations. All of the circumstances pile up on one another, making for a slow-paced narrative. The story is based on the authors' experiences, but, according to the CIP, the names of people, places, dates, the sequences and details of events, and the actions and conversations of real-life figures have been changed. So it is difficult to know what is true and what is not other than their love for this gentle lion and their understandable unhappiness about their preparations for his eventual departure. Some of the photos seen on YouTube are grouped with other black-and-white and color shots in the center of the book. Back matter contains tidbits about Christian, lions in general, and various famous animals. This is not an essential purchase.–Nancy Call, Santa Cruz Public Libraries, Aptos, CA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Anthony “Ace” Bourke was born in Sydney in 1946. He has become one of Australia’s leading art curators, a pioneer in the field of Aboriginal art, and a colonial art specialist, staging numerous critically acclaimed exhibitions. Ace hopes to immerse himself again in wildlife and conservation projects, to help address the world’s urgent environmental issues. He lives in Sydney with his two cats.

John Rendall is a sixth-generation Australian and divides his time between London and Sydney. He continues his commitment to the George Adamson Wildlife Preservation Trust and is a member of the Royal Geographical Society in London. He has been involved in travel-focused public relations, concentrating on conservation projects, lodges, and reserves in Africa. John’s three children share his passion for wildlife and conservation.

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Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5 stars
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See all 21 customer reviews
The book is simply written but is a very poignant story.
C. S. Wells
I hope it is a book she will treasure and pass down to her children if she has any.
Marlyn A. Castillo
And there are actual photographs of Christian, Ace and John!
Deborah A. Mcdonald

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Deborah A. Mcdonald on April 1, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a wonderful children's book I bought for my grandbabies in England, where Christian came from. Since it is a true story, it is particularly fascinating. I stumbled upon the YouTube video of Christian greeting his old friends Ace and John after a year in the wilds of Kenya, was totally hooked, and had to find out more. I have purchased the video, Christian the Lion at World's End (apparently a reference to King's Road in London where Christian began his road to freedom), from [...] and would recommend it to anyone with a modicum of interest in this story. Proceeds go to bornfree for conservation and returning wild animals to the wild.

I also recommend the book for grown-ups, A Lion Called Christian, for parents to read so they know the whole story, along with this book they can read to their children. There are some unfortunate circumstances with Katania and Boy addressed in the video and I assume the grown-up book (which I have just started) since they are addressed in the video, that are not addressed in the children's book, which is good. I read this book in one short evening to make sure it was suitable for younger children. It is. And there are actual photographs of Christian, Ace and John!

This is an absolutely lovely story, and Ace (Anthony) Bourke and John Rendall have done an excellent job with this book, including the facts section at the end of the book with information about Kenya and its wildlife.

I recommend it very highly.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Miss Judy on May 21, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Like most people, Christian was unknown to me before YouTube. But once I saw the reunion between Christian and John & Ace, it was all over. I really couldn't wait to read the story of this incredible friendship, and was not dissapointed in John and Ace's book. It was funny, warm, touching and most of all...proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that love really does know no boundaries. If you want to feel good, read this book. What a nice change from the usual murder mysteries, political junky books, etc. You won't be sorry if you buy this book.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Phyllis H. Pentecost on April 18, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The book brought tears to my eyes. With all the trouble in the world...this book makes it clear what really matters...love.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By TeensReadToo on April 16, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Christian the Lion became a hit on YouTube recently, but he was really owned by the authors in the late 60's and early 70's.

They found the small cub at Harrod's in England and took him home with them, but as Christian began to grow, they realized he couldn't continue to live with him. With a newfound friend named George, the two friends made plans for Christian to be brought to Kenya and eventually let out in the wild.

Once he did, he was gone for a year before Anthony "Ace" and John ever saw him again. George warned that he might not recognize them anymore, but surprisingly, he did! He even introduced them to his wife, as if they were old friends.

This book is perfect for young children, as it allows them to learn about lions in a fun and unique way, with pictures to make it even more exciting! At the back of the novel, they have facts about lions, as well as other African animals. It's very much a small educational novel.

However, CHRISTIAN THE LION is simply a fun book about a very well-known lion who defied the odds when it came to his relationship with these two human men. It's a short book that people of all ages can enjoy if they want to learn more about Christian, Ace, and John. It's a very easy read, with all of the basic information you need to know.

If you want to learn more, the men have an adult title, A LION CALLED CHRISTIAN, on the subject as well.

Reviewed by: Lauren Ashley
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Marlyn A. Castillo on May 10, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this for one of my granddaughters who loves to read and loves animal of all sorts. Saw a segment on "The View" with these two men and films with them and Christian. It was such a heartwarming story; Another "Born Free" (what a movie!!) Anyway, I decided to get this a a birthday gift. I have read it, love it and I'm sure my granddaughter will also. I hope it is a book she will treasure and pass down to her children if she has any.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By C. S. Wells on September 22, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I received this book as a gift before I knew there was a youtube video. The book is simply written but is a very poignant story. Once I picked it up, I couldn't put it down! I would recommend this book to all animal lovers because its story defies all that we are supposed to believe about animals in their "wild" habitat. My husband teaches 4th grade and is planning on reading it to his class and then having them watch the youtube video.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on July 19, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Two friends searching for holiday gifts in London come across an amazing sight: a lion cub for sale in Harrods, the famous department store. They take him home; a year later the adopters realize their pet needs more care than they can give him. This story of how Christian was returned to the African wild offers a vivid survey of human interactions with wildlife and nature.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mary Monk on September 14, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a story that brings joy and tears to every heart that hears or reads it. It is not sappy or sentimental but it is extraordinary. The book was in perfect condition as well.
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