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If I Were a Lion Paperback – July 24, 2007


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 7 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 2
  • Paperback: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers; Reprint edition (July 24, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416938370
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416938378
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 0.3 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #548,332 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

How could such a sweet little red-haired girl's mother accuse her of being wild? Worse still, how could she possibly make her sit in the time-out chair? That's precisely what this little girl wonders as she sits in the chair and lets her imagination (but not her manners, no way!) run wild: "If I were a lion,/ I'd growl and roar/ and knock the dishes/ on the floor./ I'd scare the hair/ right off the cat,/ but do you see me doing that?" Heather M. Solomon, also the illustrator of Clever Beatrice, captures the wildness in the little girl's mind in fantastic watercolor and gouache paintings. In the "growl and roar" spread, a ferocious lion is standing on two legs, open-jawed, in the ultra-artsy kitchen, breaking the dishes as the little girl looks on, wide-eyed and innocent. "Wild has feathers./ Wild has scales./ Wild has whiskers, tusks, and tails," she insists, surrounded by a made-up menagerie of owls, parrots, toucans, Old World chameleons, horned toads, snakes, walruses, seals, and fish in a bucket. We all know she protests too much: the title page reveals exhibit A--a childlike lion picture scrawled on the wall and a knocked-over cereal box. (Preschool to age 6) --Karin Snelson --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 1-When a young girl is sent to a time-out chair, she defends herself by asking, "Wild?/Who me?" With wide-eyed innocence, she proclaims: "Wild has feathers./Wild has scales./Wild has whiskers, tusks, and tails./Wild is furry./Wild is strong./Wild does not know/right from wrong." As she describes each characteristic, unruly animals take over the kitchen and living room-snorting, charging, and growling as they break dishes, overturn furniture, and create messes. The narrator seems to be surprised by their antics, but the gleam in her eye makes it obvious that she's not as innocent as she appears. So who created the havoc-the animals or this "meek and mild" child? Sharp-eyed readers will enjoy spotting the toys being blamed for the disasters; the endpapers, with numerous stuffed animals strewn haphazardly across them, provide another clue. Solomon adds to the humor by giving the youngster oversized features that make her appear cartoonlike, but with a painterly touch just shy of realistic. Splashes of salt resist on each page form a soft patterned background for the carpeting. An interesting combination of gouache brush strokes scattered over watercolor washes captures the texture of fur and feathers. Pair this book with Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are (HarperCollins, 1988) for another protagonist whose imagination runs rampant when he's confined, and to create a storytime that will grab the attention of children who have been placed in a time-out.-Laurie Edwards, West Shore School District, Camp Hill, PA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Customer Reviews

I'm a huge fan of this book.
Melody Lumpkin
The illustrations are wonderful and compliment well a beautifully written story.
Sue Sullivan
My daughter is 7 and she loves to read this book to me at least once a week.
CHeRRy LeOPaRD

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By M. Allen Greenbaum HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on April 2, 2005
Format: Hardcover
After our young hero knocks her lasagna dinner on the floor, her mother sends her to the proverbial corner time-out chair for being "wild." The little redhead protests, all big-eyed and incredulous:

"Wild? Who me? That's so absurd. How could she even use that word?"

And to prove herself innocent of this outrageous charge, she fantasizes what she would do if she were REALLY wild. She trots outs a series of hypotheticals in a defense worthy of Louis Nizer or Perry Mason:

If I were a lion,

I'd growl and I'd roar

And knock the dishes on the floor.

I'd scare the hair

right off the cat,

but do you see me

doing that?

No, in fact, we don't! Case closed? Not yet, for we see that her imagination running wild (in some of the best illustrations of the year). There's a large tawny lion with a reddish mane (that suggests blood), standing and roaring in the kitchen amid smashed dishes and one terribly frightened cat! On the next page, she explains that, were she guilty, were she really wild, she'd be a ferocious bear: "I'd scratch and poke and pierce and tear, not sit here nicely in my chair." Dynamic, richly detailed pictures of other wild animals accompanying some clever poetic arguments serve to further her case.

This funny and entertaining book gently recognizes how difficult it can be to take responsibility, and the imaginative lengths to which kids (and many adults) will go to find a convincing alibi. As stated above, the pictures are simply outstanding; Heather Solomon gets the most out of the popular watercolor/gouache format. Her very expressive pictures have compositional and textural strength--she does wonders with rhino hide.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Melody Lumpkin on April 22, 2008
Format: Paperback
The illustrations in this book are some of the best I've seen. There are so many small details included. For example, the animals she talks about are vividly depicted in the room, but they are also seen in childish drawings on the walls and as stuffed toys.

We checked this book out of the library several months ago, read it to our two year old daughter (by her request) several times a day for two weeks. We bought the book before we returned it to the library because our daughter was so enthralled with it.

Not only is this fun to read, with lines like, "I'm precocious and polite," but it teaches children to apologize. After reading this with my daughter, we talked about time out and why kids go to time out. Thanks to the example of this cute little girl, she always apologizes after time outs.

I'm a huge fan of this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mother Hen on April 14, 2005
Format: Hardcover
A chubby-cheeked, big-eyed cutie directly addresses the reader, seeking to defend herself after her mommy gives her a time out. Her explanation reveals a vivid imagination that turns her playroom stuffed animals into real wild animals that come alive to wreak hypothetical chaos.

I have to say that one of the things I like best about the illustrations is that her contemporary playroom actually looks like my kids' playroom, crammed with legos, doll house, barbies, baby dolls, etc. I cringe that my kids may get ideas about drawing on the walls from this story, but this is too cute a book to let that get in the way of enjoying it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ulyyf on May 1, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Don't you just love it? She's not there because she misbehaved, oh no! She's not WILD. That's so absurd! Her mother has clearly lost it, because THIS little girl is not ferocious. THIS little girl does not bite. Oh, NO.

It's so true to how kids (and, frankly, many grown-ups) think. Even though she does calm down and apologize in the end, we're never told what she did wrong, exactly.

Some of the rhymes and scansion is a bit forced, but I like this book well enough anyway.
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Format: Paperback
My mother bought this for my son about a year and a half ago (just before he turned 3). We've loved it since.
He has it memorized, and will occasionally treat me to a recital of the book when we are in the car.
It's a great story, which I think is very approachable for young kids, and quite enjoyable for adults to read aloud.
The little girl (who my son insisted for a long time was named 'Wild' :-) ), has gotten in trouble for being 'wild'. She then regales the reader with proof that she is not really wild.
The illustrations are absolutely wonderful. Quite possibly my favorite in any children's book (and we have quite an extensive collection).

I highly recommend it, and my now-4-year-old son does too.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is a fabulous find. It is not written by a mass published author (Dr. Seuss, Laura Numeroff, etc), so it is hard to find in stores. That is part of what makes the book a great gift. The illustrations are very eye catching and appealing to a child. The rhyming text is clever and well done. Very cute story of a little girl who gets in trouble for being wild, and pleads her case as to why she's not by comparing herself and actions to actual wild animals.

I gave this to my niece for Christmas, and she loved it. My sister had never heard of this book, but says that it is now a favorite bedtime book for my niece.
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More About the Author

Sarah Weeks is the author of Oggie Cooder, So B. It, Jumping the Scratch, and the Guy series. She lives in New York City, where she practices charving at least once a fortnight.

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