In Like a Lion, Out Like a Lamb

In Like a Lion, Out Like a Lamb

by Marion Dane Bauer, Emily Arnold McCully
     
 

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March comes in with a roar.
He rattles your windows and scratches at your door.

In this exuberant, rhythmic story, March, personified as a lion, enters a boy's cozy home and leaves a trail of snow flurries and muddy footprints. The boy calmly observes the pouncing, howling, growling lion until in comes the lamb on the crest of a huge sneeze.

Escorted by grass,

Overview

March comes in with a roar.
He rattles your windows and scratches at your door.

In this exuberant, rhythmic story, March, personified as a lion, enters a boy's cozy home and leaves a trail of snow flurries and muddy footprints. The boy calmly observes the pouncing, howling, growling lion until in comes the lamb on the crest of a huge sneeze.

Escorted by grass, flowers, sunshine, showers, and animal babies, the lamb brings forth spring.

Editorial Reviews

Pamela Paul
…Bauer turns the shopworn simile into a fresh, rousing story about lion and lamb.
—The New York Times
Publishers Weekly
Newbery Honor–author Bauer (On My Honor) and Caldecott-winning artist McCully (Mirette on the High Wire) have fun with a familiar weather simile. A feisty lion is first on the scene: "March comes with a roar./ He rattles your windows/ and scratches at your door. He turns snow to mud,/ then tromps across your floor." The animal taunts a child whose home he muddies (" ‘Were you expecting spring?' he snickers./ ‘Reach for your slickers' ") before stubbornly settling in, a raincloud over his head. The lamb arrives, comically, in the spray of the lion's sneeze amid a shower of flower petals, taking over as the lion curls up in the sun. As the tale closes, the lamb assembles baby animals (and a human infant in a pram) in a verdant meadow, yet splashes of visual humor (the book ends with the lamb sneezing out a summer's worth of insects) save it from becoming too syrupy. The palette of McCully's wispy pen-and-ink and watercolor art brightens as spring blooms, while the cadence and rhyme of Bauer's verse are as variable as March itself. Ages 4–8. (Mar.)
From the Publisher
In Bauer’s capable hands, the age-old simile of March coming in like a lion and going out like a lamb is made quite literal. Readers follow as, one after the other, they visit the house of one little boy. “March comes with a roar. / He rattles your windows / and scratches at your door. / He turns snow to mud, / then tromps across your floor.” The lion wreaks utter havoc—until the day when the soft breeze and new tree buds cause the lion to sneeze. Riding the wave of that sneeze, the lamb comes prancing in, ushering in all things spring. And that lion? Is he going to lurk about and cause trouble? No, his rumbles are snores now, and he'll sleep away the days until next March. Bauer cleverly uses her transition sneeze to set up the possibility of a sequel—summer bugs ride in on the lamb’s mighty "A-A-A-A-CHOO!" While the text provides the skeleton, McCully’s pen, ink and watercolor illustrations truly bring the old song to life. Her lion is a wonderful cross between a fierce foe, threatening with his teeth and claws, and a party pooper, making a mess and spoiling any good times outdoors. Meanwhile, the lamb is a perfect ball of snow-white fluff. Spare backgrounds during the lion’s reign echo the bleakness of the weather and change to light blues and greens as the lamb takes charge. A good addition to the spring shelf, it is sure to find its way, roaring and bleating, to classrooms studying similes. (Picture book. 4-8)

The title’s familiar proverb, muse for many a postwinter bulletin board, inspires this picture-book interpretation. “March comes with a roar. / He rattles your windows / and scratches at your door” reads the text as the ink-and-watercolor illustrations show a young boy, who looks out the window and finds an ominous feline face peering in through the snow. Each subsequent scene illustrates the literal meaning a child might imagine when hearing the meteorological metaphors: a lion tracks mud, sleet, and hail into the house and just will not leave. Then, one morning, some fresh air tickles the obstinate beast’s nose, and a cute lamb comes flying out with his sneeze, spreading nature and newness. The poetic license in this final scene, as well as in some of the rhymes, feels stretched, but both the words and pictures offer a warm

depiction of the change of seasons—along with a shout-out to young springtime allergy sufferers.

School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2—A March lion roars through a little boy's house, tracking in mud, sleet, and hail. No amount of coaxing convinces him to leave until on "one soft morning," buds and birds appear and a spring lamb rides in on the lion's gigantic sneeze. While the big cat retreats and sleeps until winter's return, the lamb presides over the new animal and plant life that signals the change of season. The large, lively illustrations, rendered in pen and ink and watercolor, depict a cantankerous lion intent on spreading blustery mayhem. In contrast, the lamb frolics in on wisps of pale green that give way to the awakening colors of spring. Animals poke their heads out of bushes and join in a comical parade featuring, among the revelers, the boy and his baby sibling, a monkey and nest of bird eggs riding on an elephant, and a roller-skating cat. Finally, the lamb, in turn, sneezes in a summery mix of bugs and flowers. The simple text plays with the popular metaphors, but the rhyme is occasionally forced. Julia Rawlinson's Fletcher and the Springtime Blossoms (2009) and Douglas Florian's poems about springtime in Handsprings (2006, both HarperCollins/Greenwillow) are better vehicles for celebrating the delights of this special season.—Marianne Saccardi, formerly at Norwalk Community College, CT
Kirkus Reviews - Kikus Reviews

In Bauer's capable hands, the age-old simile of March coming in like a lion and going out like a lamb is made quite literal. Readers follow as, one after the other, they visit the house of one little boy. "March comes with a roar. / He rattles your windows / and scratches at your door. / He turns snow to mud, / then tromps across your floor." The lion wreaks utter havoc—until the day when the soft breeze and new tree buds cause the lion to sneeze. Riding the wave of that sneeze, the lamb comes prancing in, ushering in all things spring. And that lion? Is he going to lurk about and cause trouble? No, his rumbles are snores now, and he'll sleep away the days until next March. Bauer cleverly uses her transition sneeze to set up the possibility of a sequel—summer bugs ride in on the lamb's mighty "A-A-A-A-CHOO!" While the text provides the skeleton, McCully's pen, ink and watercolor illustrations truly bring the old song to life. Her lion is a wonderful cross between a fierce foe, threatening with his teeth and claws, and a party pooper, making a mess and spoiling any good times outdoors. Meanwhile, the lamb is a perfect ball of snow-white fluff. Spare backgrounds during the lion's reign echo the bleakness of the weather and change to light blues and greens as the lamb takes charge. A good addition to the spring shelf, it is sure to find its way, roaring and bleating, to classrooms studying similes.(Picture book. 4-8)

Kirkus Reviews

In Bauer's capable hands, the age-old simile of March coming in like a lion and going out like a lamb is made quite literal. Readers follow as, one after the other, they visit the house of one little boy. "March comes with a roar. / He rattles your windows / and scratches at your door. / He turns snow to mud, / then tromps across your floor." The lion wreaks utter havoc—until the day when the soft breeze and new tree buds cause the lion to sneeze. Riding the wave of that sneeze, the lamb comes prancing in, ushering in all things spring. And that lion? Is he going to lurk about and cause trouble? No, his rumbles are snores now, and he'll sleep away the days until next March. Bauer cleverly uses her transition sneeze to set up the possibility of a sequel—summer bugs ride in on the lamb's mighty "A-A-A-A-CHOO!" While the text provides the skeleton, McCully's pen, ink and watercolor illustrations truly bring the old song to life. Her lion is a wonderful cross between a fierce foe, threatening with his teeth and claws, and a party pooper, making a mess and spoiling any good times outdoors. Meanwhile, the lamb is a perfect ball of snow-white fluff. Spare backgrounds during the lion's reign echo the bleakness of the weather and change to light blues and greens as the lamb takes charge. A good addition to the spring shelf, it is sure to find its way, roaring and bleating, to classrooms studying similes.(Picture book. 4-8)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780823424320
Publisher:
Holiday House, Inc.
Publication date:
01/28/2012
Pages:
32
Sales rank:
418,832
Product dimensions:
8.80(w) x 9.80(h) x 0.20(d)
Lexile:
AD450L (what's this?)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Marion Dane Bauer is an award-winning author who also teaches in the Master of Fine Arts in Writing for Children and Young Adults program at Vermont College. Among her Clarion titles are ON MY HONOR, a Newbery Honor Book; A BEAR NAMED TROUBLE; and RUNT: THE STORY OF A WOLF PUP. She lives with her partner, Ann Goddard, in Eden Prairie, Minnesota.

Emily Arnold McCully received the Caldecott Medal for Mirette on the High Wire. The illustrator of more than 40 books for young readers, she divides her time between Chatham, New York, and New York City.

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