The Happy Lion

( 2 )

Overview

A friendly lion in a small French zoo enjoys the visits of the townspeople who stop by each day to say "Bonjour, Happy Lion." So one day, when the zoo keeper forgets to close the lion's door, the Happy Lion decides to return the visits to all the nice people of the town. To his amazement, as he strolls through the town his friends scream and run from him, the police and fire brigade are called, and people cower in their shops or houses. How a small boy saves the day concludes a wonderfully satisfying story that ...
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Overview

A friendly lion in a small French zoo enjoys the visits of the townspeople who stop by each day to say "Bonjour, Happy Lion." So one day, when the zoo keeper forgets to close the lion's door, the Happy Lion decides to return the visits to all the nice people of the town. To his amazement, as he strolls through the town his friends scream and run from him, the police and fire brigade are called, and people cower in their shops or houses. How a small boy saves the day concludes a wonderfully satisfying story that is just the right length for bedtime or anytime.

At age 50, The Happy Lion continues to charm and delight and Alfred A. Knopf is proud to reissue it for today's young children.

When the door to his house at the zoo is left open a lion decides to visit his friends, but he quickly learns that people are not nearly as polite or friendly in town as when they visit him at the zoo.

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Editorial Reviews

The Washington Post
In this welcome anniversary edition, he still discovers, to his disappointment, that those friendly folk are not nearly so happy to see him loose, and he is still cheered when innocent little François hails him on the main street with the familiar greeting: "Bonjour, Happy Lion." Roger Duvoisin's whimsical illustrations, in lion-like colors of tawny yellow and orange, remain irresistible. — Elizabeth Ward
Publishers Weekly
A number of newly reissued classics aim to entertain new generations of readers. The Happy Lion by Louise Fatio, illus. by Roger Duvoisin, returns to celebrate its 50th anniversary. In the first of what was a series of 10 books, set in a provincial French town, this tale follows the hero after the door to his zoo is left open. The lion visits all the kind people who see him daily and grows confused by their terrified reactions. Duvoisin adds a charming mix of b&w and three-color illustrations of the scruffy protagonist. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
The lion is very happy in the zoo. He's away from the dangerous hunters in Africa and living in a town in France. Every day different people stop by to say hello to the lion. One day, the zoo keeper forgets to close the gate to the lion's cage, so the lion decides to go out and say hello to everyone. The sparrows and squirrels greet him pleasantly, but the lion is dismayed at the reactions of humans. Everyone screams, runs away, or faints. The people get the firemen to try to put the lion back in the zoo, but it is Francois, the zoo keeper's son, who persuades the lion to go back to his cage. The lion is happy to go back to the zoo because people are much more polite there. While the story is rife with imperialistic undertones characteristic of children's literature of the 1950s, the children of today will still enjoy the lion's adventures. The idea that a child can do some things adults cannot never gets old. Duvoisin's drawings add a charming atmosphere to this re-issued classic. 2004 (orig. 1954), Alfred A Knopf, Ages 4 up.
—Amie Rose Rotruck
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780375827594
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 3/9/2004
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 975,943
  • Age range: 3 - 7 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.43 (w) x 10.25 (h) x 0.35 (d)

Meet the Author

Louise Fatio collaborated with her famous illustrator husband, Roger Duvoisin, on The Happy Lion, one of the most beloved stories of the mid-20th century. Long unavailable, it was reissued in a hardcover edition to celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2004. She was born in Switzerland in 1904 and died in New Jersey in 1993.

Roger Duvoisin, a Caldecott Medal winner, wrote and illustrated 40 books, including those featuring Veronica the conspicuous hippopotamus and Petunia the silly goose. He collaborated with his wife, Louise Fatio, on nine more Happy Lion stories. He was born in Switzerland in 1904 and died in New Jersey in 1980.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 23, 2007

    A child's intellect over adults' age

    Everyone loves the Happy Lion - behind bars. But when his keeper accidentaly allows him to escape, all fear him except Francois, a child. Everyone's in an uproar about the lion's escape, and the fire department is called to deal with this, but little Francois brings him back to his cage, and without any trouble. Kids have much more insight than adults, and I'm an adult who read this to my kid!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 3, 2014

    This is a happy story about a friendly lion and a wise little bo

    This is a happy story about a friendly lion and a wise little boy. It was popular with little children and frequently checked out when I  was a children's librarian in New York City. They also checked out the other books in the Happy Lion series, now, sadly, out of print and unavailable. It is good to see this first one back in print. A good companion would be Petunia, by Roger Duvoisin, who illustrated the Happy Lion. Bright colors, plenty of action, these are funny, comforting books, perfect for lap-sitting story times.  

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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