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LIONEL AND THE BOOK OF BEASTS by E. Nesbit

LIONEL AND THE BOOK OF BEASTS

By E. Nesbit (Author) , Michael Hague (Illustrator)

Age Range: 5 - 9

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 2006
ISBN: 0-688-14006-8
Publisher: HarperCollins

The whimsical sweetness of Nesbit’s original story and the richness of its early 20th-century language have both been stripped from this misguided attempt at retelling. While adult readers will keenly miss that richness, new young readers will probably enjoy the story of young Lionel, taken from his building blocks when the news comes that his many-greats-grandfather has died and he must be king. Lionel is far more taken with his grandfather’s books, even though the Prime Minister and Chancellor warn him not to open them. He does so of course, letting loose among other beasts a red dragon who eats every member of Parliament, an orphanage and the Football Players. Lionel, with some help from a Hippogriff and none at all from a Manticora, finds a way of getting the dragon back into the book, with only slightly singed pages. Nurse, a figure of comfort, has a severe mien in these pictures, which are lush and hyperreal, as is Hague’s wont. Not to everyone’s taste, but his adult fans will snap it up. (Picture book. 5-9)