Following a scary nightmare, a little boy receives a toy lion, and that makes all the difference in this import from Germany.
Wearing the hat that “makes him tall” and carrying the sword that “makes him strong,” Morgan feels like a “wild and fierce and frightening” knight in the daylight. But after a walk in the woods with Nana, Morgan dreams a robber in the woods wants his hat and sword. His mother assures him there’s no robber, but Morgan’s still afraid. The next day Nana gives Morgan a stuffed lion, because everyone occasionally needs a lion, “especially at night.” Falling asleep hugging his lion, Morgan dreams the robber is returning, but riding on his Night Lion, Morgan again feels “wild and fierce and frightening.” Softly colored, realistic watercolor illustrations introduce a self-assured Morgan boldly posing with hat and sword. In contrast, double-page spreads of Morgan’s nightmare reveal a diminished, pajama-clad white boy hiding behind a tree while the imagined robber, a large, grayish shape with staring eyes, lurks. A post-nightmare close-up of fear-filled, wide-eyed Morgan clutching his blanket speaks volumes, as does a stunning double-page spread of him asleep atop the lion. The final spread of Morgan confidently raising his sword echoes Sendak’s Max as king of the wild things.
A comforting, enabling, picture-perfect bedtime read. (Picture book. 3-6)