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The Lion Who Saw Himself in the Water

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Hoopoe Books spans the globe to offer four picture-book-and-CD packages featuring stories from the Sufi tradition adapted to Western culture by Afghani author Indries Shah. A roster of talented narrators serves up vibrant, often buttery-toned readings of these entertaining fables. Titles contain an educational introduction, narration with page-turn signals (and without signals), and all are available in Spanish and English, as well as hardcover and paperback. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
A lion named Share unintentionally frightens away the other animals in the jungle with his loud growls. When Share asks them why they are running away from him, they only hear "Grr-grrr" and run faster, thinking he "must be very, very angry with us now!" Thirsty from chasing the other animals, Share goes to a pond to get a drink of water. When he sees his reflection (for the first time in his life, illogically) he, too, is scared of the lion he sees. The other animals, inexplicably now not afraid of him, come to drink at the same pool and laugh at Share's fear. He eventually becomes so thirsty that he braves the water, which causes the reflected lion to disappear. "Well, at last I've learned that a reflection is not the same as the real thing!" Share tells this to the other animals. Shah was known for his "teaching stories," but if there is a deeper meaning to this boring book it remains hidden. The full-color, full-page, illustrations appear to have been drawn by a talented high-school student. The CD has a brief introduction, explaining that the story is based on an 800-year-old Afghan folk tale and that it should teach children not to have irrational fears, followed by the story being read with background music. The music, presumably from Afghanistan, is the most interesting part of the package. 1998, Hoopoe Books/The Institute for the Study of Human Knowledge, Ages 3 to 5.
—Sara Lorimer
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-The audio version of the traditional Afghan story written by Idries Shah (Hoopoe Books, 1998) doesn't add a great deal to the print version. Although the book's colorful illustrations by Ingrid Rodriguez will appeal to animal-loving preschoolers, the story line is weak. "Share, the Lion" is feared by the other animals because of his deep "Grrrrrrrr." As the animals scatter in fear, Share decides to quench his thirst in a pool of water, where he discovers his reflection, which scares him. As the other animals seemingly forget their fear of Share and join him at the pool for a drink, Share's fear of his reflection is alleviated. There is no explanation for the animals' collective acceptance of Share, nor is there much connection to the moral stated at the end, "at last I've learned that a reflection is not the same as the real thing." Audio for this title consists of three tracks: an introduction with listening suggestions followed by read-aloud tracks, one with page-turn signals and one without. The seven-minute reading by a male narrator is accompanied by peaceful Middle-Eastern string and percussion music. Although the audio is adequate, the story itself is somewhat disjointed and doesn't offer a satisfying conclusion.-Kristen Martindale, formerly Menomonie WI Public Library, WI Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781883536121
  • Publisher: I S H K
  • Publication date: 9/28/1998
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 531,047
  • Age range: 9 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 11.60 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 22, 2001

    Powerful image for facing fears

    With illustrations that make you want to step right into the picture, this book is a great telling of great classic for little kids. Sometimes I think we forget or don't realize just how powerful certain images and impressions we get from our early childhood books really are, and just how much they can impact our lives. My 4-year old adores this book. And what a great image for her to take through life ¿ the realization that she might be hindered by fear of her own reflection. 

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 16, 2001

    A Lion That Helps Kids!

    For 20 years I've delighted in the story collections of Idries Shah. I'm very pleased with his entire new series of children's books, especially 'The Lion Who Saw Himself in the Water'. As my wife and I read this story to young children in our family, we can see their eyes light up. The kids strongly identify with all of the animals in the book, particularly the lion as he overcomes his fears and learns something about his own individual indentity and how it connects to other people. I have to confess, that I've picked up the book several times and read it for my own enjoyment. It somehow soothes my mind after a tough day at the office.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 26, 2001

    My Son Loves It

    I have enjoyed reading this book to my son again and again. We refer back to it often when he is confronting his fears. A great reminder that not everything is as it seems.

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