Hello, friends! Our book today is A Lion In Paris by Beatrice Alemagna, a strange and beautiful journey through the city of light.
A young lion, bored with life on the savannah, catches a train into Paris to find work, love, and a new future for himself. Expecting to draw the attention of all the people of Paris as he walks down the busy streets, he is dismayed to find that they pay him little mind, even when he lets out a mighty roar. And while he marvels at the strange sights, sounds, and denizens of the bustling city, he is disillusioned to be so ignored and alone. Strolling through the Louvre, however, he meets a girl (in a familiar painting) who watches him pass and smiles mysteriously, and it buoys his spirits. Even better, he finds a stone platform (plinth) in the center of a traffic roundabout, where he can be seen and admired all day. Finding his place in Paris, he decides to stay.
Sweet, silly, and visually wonderful. While the story is a twist on a classic – namely, finding one’s place in a new situation – this provides the perfect foundation for the unique and daring art, which features the lovable lion (whose odd-yet-sweetly humanoid features allow for a great deal of emotional expression) and some delightfully detailed mixed-media spreads of Paris. The Eiffel Tower, Sacré-Cœur, the Seine, and more all feature in Lion’s wanderings, populated with a diverse collection of hand-drawn and clip-art humans and media. There are some sweet moments, and a lovely ending (the lion is based on an actual statue in Place Denfert-Rochereau). The length is great, and JJ loved the lion’s adventures as well as the kid-friendly large format. This was an unusual treat, and we loved it – Baby Bookworm approved!