Animals, Young Readers

6 A-Roar-Able Lion Picture Books

If there’s any animal that can’t help but steal the show when it enters the pages of a book, it’s the lion. With its golden mane, champion roar, and king-of-the-jungle vibe, a lion makes young readers sit up and pay attention. Here are six great lion picture books to make story time roar.

Lion Lessons

Lion Lessons

Hardcover $18.99

Lion Lessons

By Jon Agee

In Stock Online

Hardcover $18.99

Lion Lessons, by Jon Agee
Jon Agee brings his characteristic charm and quirky humor to this tale of a boy who decides to aim for his Lion Diploma. He takes lessons from a pro, an imposing lion with a degree from “Harvard School of Claw.” At first, things don’t look so promising—the boy’s roar isn’t very powerful, and his fangs are far from imposing. He’s not as fast as a top-notch lion, nor does he enjoy dining on gnus and antelopes. But when the time comes to defend a helpless kitten from a bullying dog, the boy finds his inner lion and graduates with honors.

Lion Lessons, by Jon Agee
Jon Agee brings his characteristic charm and quirky humor to this tale of a boy who decides to aim for his Lion Diploma. He takes lessons from a pro, an imposing lion with a degree from “Harvard School of Claw.” At first, things don’t look so promising—the boy’s roar isn’t very powerful, and his fangs are far from imposing. He’s not as fast as a top-notch lion, nor does he enjoy dining on gnus and antelopes. But when the time comes to defend a helpless kitten from a bullying dog, the boy finds his inner lion and graduates with honors.

Dandelion

Dandelion

Paperback $8.99

Dandelion

By Don Freeman

In Stock Online

Paperback $8.99

Dandelion, by Don Freeman
This classic of lion lit, first published in 1964, features the adorable Dandelion, who receives an invitation to Jennifer Giraffe’s “tea-and-taffy party.” Although the invitation instructs Dandelion to “Come as you are,” he can’t resist getting spruced up. After a haircut causes him to look like a dandelion gone to seed, he follows it with a perm, a manicure, and a spiffy outfit. All dressed up, however, Jennifer Giraffe doesn’t recognize him, until the wind, rain, and sun blast out his curls and dandy accessories.

Dandelion, by Don Freeman
This classic of lion lit, first published in 1964, features the adorable Dandelion, who receives an invitation to Jennifer Giraffe’s “tea-and-taffy party.” Although the invitation instructs Dandelion to “Come as you are,” he can’t resist getting spruced up. After a haircut causes him to look like a dandelion gone to seed, he follows it with a perm, a manicure, and a spiffy outfit. All dressed up, however, Jennifer Giraffe doesn’t recognize him, until the wind, rain, and sun blast out his curls and dandy accessories.

Tawny Scrawny Lion

Tawny Scrawny Lion

Hardcover $5.99

Tawny Scrawny Lion

By Kathryn Jackson
Illustrator Gustaf Tenggren

Hardcover $5.99

Tawny Scrawny Lion, by Kathryn Jackson and Gustaf Tenggren
This classic story features a fearsome hunter turned into a mellow gatherer by a plucky bunny. The Tawny Scrawny Lion must chase after animals to catch his dinner. The result is that he burns more calories than he consumes, and you could play a xylophone tune on his poking-out ribs. The other animals seek a break from running away from the lion all the time, so they ask the rabbit to “talk things over with the lion.” Rather than seeing this as a trick, the rabbit takes to his job with aplomb, and invites the lion to enjoy some carrot stew with him. The upshot? The lion will never go back to carrion again.

Tawny Scrawny Lion, by Kathryn Jackson and Gustaf Tenggren
This classic story features a fearsome hunter turned into a mellow gatherer by a plucky bunny. The Tawny Scrawny Lion must chase after animals to catch his dinner. The result is that he burns more calories than he consumes, and you could play a xylophone tune on his poking-out ribs. The other animals seek a break from running away from the lion all the time, so they ask the rabbit to “talk things over with the lion.” Rather than seeing this as a trick, the rabbit takes to his job with aplomb, and invites the lion to enjoy some carrot stew with him. The upshot? The lion will never go back to carrion again.

The Happy Lion

The Happy Lion

Paperback $8.99

The Happy Lion

By Louise Fatio
Illustrator Roger Duvoisin

In Stock Online

Paperback $8.99

The Happy Lion, by Louise Fatio and Roger Duvoisin
The Happy Lion spends his days smiling down at visitors to a zoo in France, and enjoying their polite greetings. One day his cage door is left open, and he decides to go visit his friends in their wild. But instead of carrying on their polite interactions, The Happy Lion discovers that when he’s outside of the zoo, his bonjours are met with screaming and even handbags and vegetables thrown in his face. The happy lion sits down to meditate, and decides, “I suppose this must be the way people behave when they are not at the zoo.”

The Happy Lion, by Louise Fatio and Roger Duvoisin
The Happy Lion spends his days smiling down at visitors to a zoo in France, and enjoying their polite greetings. One day his cage door is left open, and he decides to go visit his friends in their wild. But instead of carrying on their polite interactions, The Happy Lion discovers that when he’s outside of the zoo, his bonjours are met with screaming and even handbags and vegetables thrown in his face. The happy lion sits down to meditate, and decides, “I suppose this must be the way people behave when they are not at the zoo.”

The Lion Inside

The Lion Inside

Hardcover $16.99

The Lion Inside

By Rachel Bright
Illustrator Jim Field

Hardcover $16.99

The Lion Inside, by Rachel Bright and Jim Field
This rhyming story features a lion who sits atop a rock overseeing the savannah, and a little mouse who can’t get any respect. As the mouse is repeatedly stepped on, sat on, and overlooked, he hatches a plan to gain some standing in the animal kingdom—everybody looks up to the lion, so he decides to become more like the lion. But first the brave mouse must set out on a perilous journey up to the top of the lion’s rock.

The Lion Inside, by Rachel Bright and Jim Field
This rhyming story features a lion who sits atop a rock overseeing the savannah, and a little mouse who can’t get any respect. As the mouse is repeatedly stepped on, sat on, and overlooked, he hatches a plan to gain some standing in the animal kingdom—everybody looks up to the lion, so he decides to become more like the lion. But first the brave mouse must set out on a perilous journey up to the top of the lion’s rock.

Library Lion

Library Lion

Paperback $7.99

Library Lion

By Michelle Knudsen
Illustrator Kevin Hawkes

In Stock Online

Paperback $7.99

Library Lion, by Michelle Knudsen and Kevin Hawkes
Lions and libraries go together like Patience and Fortitude, the two lion sculptures that guard the entrance to the New York Public Library. The lion in this book walks into a peaceful library run by head librarian Miss Merriwether, alarming her assistant, Mr. McBee. Miss Merriwether asks him, “Is he breaking any rules?” When Mr. McBee admits he isn’t, she insists, “Then leave him be.” Once the lion is trained not to roar, he becomes an indispensable asset, useful for dusting tall shelves with his tufted tail and for leaning against during the children’s story time.

Library Lion, by Michelle Knudsen and Kevin Hawkes
Lions and libraries go together like Patience and Fortitude, the two lion sculptures that guard the entrance to the New York Public Library. The lion in this book walks into a peaceful library run by head librarian Miss Merriwether, alarming her assistant, Mr. McBee. Miss Merriwether asks him, “Is he breaking any rules?” When Mr. McBee admits he isn’t, she insists, “Then leave him be.” Once the lion is trained not to roar, he becomes an indispensable asset, useful for dusting tall shelves with his tufted tail and for leaning against during the children’s story time.

What are your favorite picture books starring the King of the Jungle?