The African savanna, home of a tiny lion cub, is full of intriguing wildlife.
The straightforward text of this appealing picture book follows a tiny lion cub for 24 hours as he plays, practices his hunting, and sleeps in his savanna world. It introduces his surroundings and his family—a pride that includes aunts, cousins, and a father with a “very, very loud” roar. At night, after the exhausted cub goes off to sleep, the lionesses hunt. While the text mentions that lions are meat eaters, and they’re shown stalking zebra, the kill is only suggested, with the bare hint of a zebra hide behind some shrubbery in a nighttime scene. Listeners will be reassured to hear that the cub, for now, “only needs his mother’s milk.” The digitally created illustrations sometimes focus in on the cub and his family and sometimes move back to display scenes in which he’s barely visible among his many unfamiliar neighbors. Day moves smoothly into night and back again. Images and names of most of the animals pictured are repeated on the endpapers. The animals (far more numerous than in reality) have appealing faces and yet remain thoroughly identifiable. Listeners may be lulled to sleep by the gentle story, but they’ll also want to be active participants in the find-that-animal game.
A sweet ecosystem introduction for preschoolers, the first of a promising series. (Picture book. 2-5)