15 May Children’s Book Week: A Surprising Pick
If C.S. Lewis were alive today, he would enjoy The Lion Who Stole My Arm by Nicola Davies and illustrated by Annabel Wright.
Although the reading level is definitely geared to the older early chapter book crowd, the subject is a surprising one for any children’s book since the first chapter delivers on the title. For kids used to reading books with snarky conversation a la Junie B. Jones or cotton candy fluff like the Rainbow Magic series, this one might get passed over on the title alone. What a shame that would be.
The story is simple and powerful. Coming home from a day of fishing, Pedru loses his arm to a lion. It’s a scary and sad moment, but the story doesn’t slide into sentimentality. Instead, Pedru discovers new skills as he learns to use his other hand. At the same time, his desire for revenge grows stronger. In their hunt for the lion who stole Pedru’s arm, Pedru and his father end up at the local lion conservation research unit, where Pedru faces the most difficult challenge of all. The book ends with a helpful chapter on lion conservation.
If you’re unsure whether it’s the right book to share with your child, read it first yourself. You can decide for yourself if C.S. Lewis was right.