Christian the Lion

Christian the Lion

4.0 23
by Anthony Bourke, John Rendall
     
 

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As Ace and John, two friends, are searching for holiday gifts in London, they come across a lion cub for sale in Harrods, the famous department store! Unable to bear the thought of leaving the cub, Ace and John take him home and name him Christian. After a year of fun and mischief Christian has grown up, and Ace and John realize that their pet needs to be among other…  See more details below

Overview

As Ace and John, two friends, are searching for holiday gifts in London, they come across a lion cub for sale in Harrods, the famous department store! Unable to bear the thought of leaving the cub, Ace and John take him home and name him Christian. After a year of fun and mischief Christian has grown up, and Ace and John realize that their pet needs to be among other lions and deserves to live free, in his natural environment. Luckily, friends help introduce Christian to the African wild.

Christian the Lion tells the riveting true story of one animal’s ability to adapt to life in the wild, and captures the unexpectedly enduring connection between man and animal.


From the Hardcover edition.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

This young reader's adaptation of Bourke and Rendall's A Lion Called Christian(Doubleday, 1971) concisely relays the story of an unorthodox pet: a lion cub the authors find in a cramped cage in a London store. As the friendly lion grows, his owners reluctantly acknowledge that Christian belongs in his natural habitat, and they arrange to have him released into the Kenya wilderness, thanks to several remarkable coincidences. Some readers will be familiar with the story's affecting conclusion-Christian joyfully greets his former owners when they visit Kenya a year after his release-since it is depicted in a popular YouTube video. Ably and excitedly streamlined for the audience ("Christian pulled on his lead like an excited puppy.... he wanted to get outside!"), the narrative includes numerous light, endearing anecdotes about Christian's accomplishments and missteps, both as a pet and while adapting to his new life in Africa. Enhancing the volume's kid appeal are a 16-page color photo insert of the lion and the authors, plus facts about African lions and other species. Ages 8-10. (Mar.)

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Children's Literature - Sarah Maury Swan
Based on a true story which was widely reported by YOUTUBE�, the book shows us new born cubs playing around their mother in her Devon, England, zoo home. Then we see two friends, Ace and John, Christmas shopping in Harrods—a huge department store in London—where they find two of the cubs crammed into a small cage and surrounded by crowds of people. The female cub has already been sold, so Ace and John buy the male cub and name him Christian in honor of the season. He lives in the basement of their furniture store and gets his exercise in the neighboring church garden. The two friends are very fond of Christian, and he of them, but, being a lion, he continues to grow. Soon John and Ace realize they will have to find somewhere else to keep him. Fate intervenes and eventually Christian is introduced to his ancestral continent—Africa. He is acclimated to living free and wild in Kenya by George Adamson, who was well known for sending lions back to the wild. He and his wife, Joy were the subjects of a movie—Born Free—about reintroducing a lioness to the wild. Christian ends up thriving in his new home but never forgets his human friends. Although the writing tends to be patronizing, it is an interesting story and the photographs are great. There is additional information about lions and other African creatures at the back of the book. Reviewer: Sarah Maury Swan
School Library Journal
Gr 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

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780375895623
Publisher:
Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
03/10/2009
Sold by:
Random House
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
144
Sales rank:
499,302
File size:
6 MB
Age Range:
7 - 10 Years

Meet 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.


From the Hardcover edition.

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Christian the Lion 4 out of 5 based on 1 ratings. 23 reviews.
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
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.
williad7 More than 1 year ago
My grandchildren absolutely loved the book, and so did I. This is a very touching story!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book really touched my heart
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I absolutly loved this book partly because it was about saving and setting a lion free and it was very touching and a heart warming story. I couldn't put it down.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I think it gets children to lean
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love it
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VALI LOWRIE-REED More than 1 year ago
I love this book I couldn't put it down
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Catherine Abbott More than 1 year ago
this book was the best book i ever read!
Madison Pointer More than 1 year ago
this story has touched my heart since the first time i heard about it!
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Stacie08 More than 1 year ago
Great book for kids and adults alike. Very touching story with a realistic presentation and outcome.