When young Caro moves to a new home with her mum, she derives comfort and strength from a mysterious, large, white lion.
The cover art and endpapers immediately draw readers into a world where a lion as enormous and gentle as the famous red dog Clifford will play a starring role. The story begins, however, with a dark, nighttime double-page spread showing a car heading up a hill toward Caro’s new house. Next, Caro explores her new home’s interior, as art verifies text: “The walls were white, the ceilings were white, and even the doors were white.” When Caro wishes for a playmate, the Snow Lion appears, and for a full week the two play and play. More than once, the wise Snow Lion encourages Caro to play with other children, and she finally connects, at the playground, with a welcoming boy named Bobby. Eventually, Caro’s mother engages Bobby and other young friends in a house-painting party. Will the colors eliminate the Snow Lion? The mixed-media artwork is a splendid complement, using just enough detail and geometric patterns against large planes of muted colors, both indoors and out. The human figures have solid, toddlerlike appearances, while the Snow Lion is appropriately well-camouflaged against the house’s white walls. Caro has pale skin and curly, auburn hair; Bobby is a boy of color with brown skin and black hair.
A well-crafted tale about healthy adaptation to new environs merges with superb artwork. (Picture book. 3-7)