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THE GOOD LION by Beryl Markham


by Beryl Markham & Don Brown

Pub Date: Sept. 26th, 2005
ISBN: 0-618-56306-7
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

A young girl survives a terrifying encounter with a lion and learns to respect nature in this adaptation of a story from West With the Night, Markham’s 1942 autobiographical account of growing up in East Africa. Beryl recounts a visit with her father to a neighboring farm where the family kept a tame lion. Beryl thinks the lion harmless, but her father cautions, “[a] tame lion is an unnatural lion . . . and whatever is unnatural is untrustworthy.” Unafraid, Beryl heads alone into the bush where she encounters the lion. She defiantly sings and walks by, unaware that the lion is silently stalking her until he strikes from behind, closing his teeth on her leg. In the end, Beryl is rescued and the lion caged, leaving her to ponder what it means to be “tame.” Delicate watercolor washes evocatively capture Beryl’s initial optimism, her impending peril and her enduring respect for her inscrutable foe. A vivid real-life story with a memorable message. (end note) (Picture book. 6-10)