Honey... Honey... Lion!

Honey... Honey... Lion!

4.5 2
by Jan Brett

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The African plains provide a stunning environment for Jan Brett's latest animal adventure. For as long as anyone can remember, the honeyguide bird and the African honey badger have been partners when it comes to honey:Honeyguide finds the honeycomb, Badger breaks it open, and they share the sweetness inside.

But this day, Badger keeps all the honey for


The African plains provide a stunning environment for Jan Brett's latest animal adventure. For as long as anyone can remember, the honeyguide bird and the African honey badger have been partners when it comes to honey:Honeyguide finds the honeycomb, Badger breaks it open, and they share the sweetness inside.

But this day, Badger keeps all the honey for himself. Foolish Badger!

In no time, Honeyguide leads Badger on a fast chase. Badger thinks it's for honey; but Honeyguide has a surprise waiting for her greedy friend.

As they swim across a pond, push through a thicket of reeds, leap over a huge anthill, a menagerie of exotic animals passes the news along in a kind of animal Bush Telegraph. Finally Badger faces a lift-the-flap page, revealing the twist that teaches Badger a lesson. Can you guess who's under that flap?

Honey . . . Honey . . . Lion! will surely become a family favorite for readers of all ages.

Editorial Reviews

For as long as anyone can remember, the Honeyguide Bird and the African Honey Badger have been performing a gentle ritual of friendship: Honeyguide finds a honeycomb; Badger breaks it open; and then the two buddies share the luscious sweetness within. But then, one day, everything changes. Badger guzzles all the honey himself! Young readers of Jan Brett's tale of the African plains learn, however, that greed often leaves a sour aftertaste. A charming story, majestically illustrated.
Publishers Weekly
Brett's (The Umbrella) intricately detailed watercolor and gouache art spotlights the wildlife of Botswana's Okavango Delta, where the winged honeyguide, a sparrow-like bird, and a honey badger (whose markings resemble a skunk's) "are partners when it comes to honey." The little bird routinely guides Badger to beehives, where he uses his strong claws to break open the honeycomb and "together they share the sweetness." But one day, after Badger refuses to share, and the sly bird teaches him a lesson. She leads Badger over land and water crying, "Honey, honey, honey!" and brings him to an acacia tree. However, with a lift of the flap, readers discover that the tree's low-hanging branches camouflage not a hive but rather a ferocious-looking lion (one paw in evidence offers a clue). "Lion, lion, lion!" reads the text as the angry cat chases Badger ("Swish, swish through the grass... Boom, boom over the hollow log") while Brett offers readers a stunning tour of this diverse and unique landscape. Badger reaches his burrow in the nick of time, and the delta's denizens spread the tale's humorous yet important moral about the importance of expressing appreciation. The spry narrative incorporates sound effects that make this a natural read-aloud, and the high spot is surely Brett's meticulous renderings of African animals and vegetation, presented against a parchment-like backdrop and framed by striking borders featuring beads and feathers. Readers may well feel as if they, like the author, have visited breathtaking Botswana. Ages 4-8. (Aug.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2-This title is based on the legend of the honeyguide, an African bird that leads an animal to a honeycomb and then shares the spoils once the stronger creature has broken it open. In Brett's version, Honeyguide takes revenge upon a greedy honey badger that refuses to share the sweet treat. She leads him on a merry chase that ends up not at a honeycomb but at the lair of a lion. Badger's pursuit of the honeyguide and flight from the lion are reminiscent of "We're Going on a Bear Hunt," with each landmark and sound effect revisited on the return journey. Brett has created another lush winner with beautifully detailed illustrations of the animals and a clear, fast-paced story. Honeyguide's anger and subsequent punishment of Badger is witnessed by the other animals that form a bush telegraph, passing news along from individual to individual. This process is visualized on the edges of each page in typical Brett style-a story within a story. This lovely title works equally well for storyhours or for one-on-one sharing. Readers interested in other versions of the legend can check out Francesca Martin's The Honey Hunters (Candlewick, 1994).-Kara Schaff Dean, Needham Public Library, MA Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
African animals and landscapes take center stage in this lively retelling of a traditional folktale from Botswana. Honeyguide (a small bird) leads Badger to a honeycomb, which he breaks open with his strong claws for both of them to share. One day, for unknown reasons, Badger does not share, and Honeyguide angrily plots revenge. Shield-shaped vignettes (decorated in feathers and beads) within Brett's signature borders show other animals (including elephants, hippos, warthogs and bishop birds) responding to this news as Honeyguide leads Badger ("pitter patter," "splish splash," etc.) to-surprise!-a lion hiding behind a lift-the-flap acacia bush. Lion chases Badger back to his burrow with sound effects repeating at an accelerated pace. The tale concludes with the animals passing the moral of the story to one another via "bush telegraph": "If Honeyguide leads you to a beehive, be sure and reward her, or next time, she will lead you to a lion." The cumulative patterns, sound effects and suspense, together with the dramatically depicted animals, will make this a popular choice for reading aloud. (Picture book. 4-7)

Product Details

Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
8.80(w) x 10.80(h) x 0.20(d)
710L (what's this?)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Jan Brett and her husband, Joe, have visited Botswana three times. Their guide, Ali Tiego, told them the true story of the honeyguide, and then the legend—if you don’t share the honey, the next time the honeyguide will lead you to a lion! “Ali taught us that large cats could be hiding anywhere, especially under the candle pod acacia,” Jan says. “In Tswana, the language of Botswana, this shrub is called ‘the house of the lion.’”

How does news travel without any telephones? “It’s a bush telegraph, we were told. Ali is always listening to the sounds. The yelp of a jackal or a guinea hen’s cackle spells out a whole story—if you know how to listen."

You can visit Jan Brett at www.janbrett.com

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Honey... Honey... Lion! 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
The book I read was Reluctantly Alice. This book was by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor. This book was mainly about a girl named Alice, in the beginning of the book she starts Junior High and finds it very difficult, because it's like a whole new world for her. Her boyfriend is ignoring her a lot and in a way they kind of break up, because they both have troubles of their own, but are still best friends throught the book. But Alice's mother died when she was a very little girl and sometimes has that a mother can only answer, and that kills her a lot. During the first month or so Alice is actully enjoying junior high and with a positive attitude. Until she gets on the wrong side of the bully at schol, and, well I don't want to give to much information, you will just have to find out for yourself. What i liked about this book was just the fact that it was a really good book, the conflict really interested me, because I also loved the topic. The author used a happy and most of the time scared voices because of the bully, and Alice always with her friends. The author didn't use a lot of challenging words so it's an easy read. The characters seemed real because the author was very good at explaing the characters. I am very used to reading this authors book, because I have read all the Alicfe book, but overall I liked this authors writing style. I liked the ending of this book, it ends with Alice, her brother and her dad, being the three musketeers, and always sticking up for eachother. I would recommend this book to anyone who is going to start Junior High, and also for girls, because its's more of a girls book then boys, I know that a lot of girls would ebjoy it. In conclusion I really liked this book, and hope others' will to.