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The Good Lion Hardcover – September 26, 2005

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 6 - 9 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 5
  • Lexile Measure: 870L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers; First edition. edition (September 26, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0618563067
  • ISBN-13: 978-0618563067
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 0.1 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,459,627 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 2-4–Markham included the story of her childhood encounter with a lion in her autobiographical West with the Night (Farrar, 1982). Brown's adaptation of it begins with a tantalizing premise that doesn't actually get much play as later events move in a slow, dreamlike sequence. My father and I settled in East Africa in 1906….And it was where, as a small girl, I was eaten by a lion. The child and her father ride out to an estate where a tamed lion roams free, and she goes off exploring. Brown's sketchy, homely watercolor views include a few animals and trees against an otherwise barren landscape of earth melding into orange sky. Beryl soon encounters the resting lion, calmly stares him down, and goes on her way, unaware that he is now following her. Help miraculously arrives from a Sikh tending horses in the deserted terrain. Brown switches color tones for the anticlimactic attack, rescue, and loss of freedom for the animal. The enlarged face of the prone child, her eyes and mouth tight shut, painted in shades of purple, is the only close-up view of her–otherwise she appears as a small, crudely sketched figure. Markham goes quickly to the message of the tale, saying that this was a good lion, who did his best at being tame, and that perhaps he shouldn't be blamed for his one mistake and caged for the rest of his long days–a simplistic summation since the lion had gone on to kill a horse, a bull, and a cow the same evening.–Margaret Bush, Simmons College, Boston
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

K-Gr. 3. "As a small girl, I was eaten by a lion." The dramatic words will immediately grab listeners, especially because they refer to a true story. Excerpts from Markham's memoir West with the Night (1943) fuel Brown's adaptation of an incident from Markam's childhood with her father in East Africa. One day they visit a farm family that keeps a tame lion, Paddy. The pencil-and-watercolor pictures show the small girl wandering alone in the bush, singing to herself as she sees Paddy coming close, then even closer. When she passes him, he comes after her with a huge roar and bites her leg. Even after what happened, Markham still felt compassion for the beast, who ended up caged forever in the zoo. The art and the text tell the story quietly, and Brown's endnote raises interesting questions about the meaning of good and the value of being tamed. Hazel Rochman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Maria Beadnell on April 13, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
What is "tame"? What is "good"?

Based on a true account of Beryl Markham's childhood, the little girl is unafraid of the huge, dangerous (but apparently tame)creature. In this case, the "tame" lion attacks, but when she is saved from him the girl finds no fault with him for being true to his nature.

This is a good, quiet book which would be equally captivating for a preschooler safe on a parent's lap or a crowd of school aged children. For little ones it is a tiny adventure. For older children it raises philosophical questions that don't have easy answers. Excellent.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Persop on January 12, 2014
Format: Hardcover
If an adult comprehends a child may benefit. It is not known if story ever occurred but story has real words to live with.A girl is educated in life by her father explaining..behavior is deeply seated. Variety more C
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