Hello, friends! Our book today is How To Hide A Lion At Christmas by Helen Stephens, a sweet tale of friendship at the holidays.
Iris has a rather unusual best friend: the friendly lion who lives with her and her family. The two are inseparable, which means they are saddened to hear that when the family goes to visit her Auntie Sarah in another town, the lion must stay behind; though the gentle giant is a popular figure in their hometown, Iris’s parents fear the lion will scare the people on the train and of the town in which they’re staying. Seeing that Iris is broken-hearted to leave him (and missing his friend), the lion decides to follow the family, sneaking onto the train and hiding in the overhead luggage. As the train rumbles through snowy hills, the lion is lulled into a peaceful sleep… only to wake in an empty trainyard with no idea of where he is! Can he find his way back to his friend in time for Christmas?
Adorable. While the story doesn’t provide a lot of exposition as to why Iris’s family has a pet lion (being a sequel to Stephens’s How To Hide A Lion), it’s not really needed; the warm and endearing illustrations immediately establish the love between little Iris and her large pet. What follows is a delightful story with a few gentle misadventures, a happy ending, and even a cute cameo from Santa, all unfolding with a sort of holiday magic that makes it immensely lovable. The length was great for a Christmas storytime, and JJ really enjoyed this one, especially the lion’s harmless antics. A fun holiday read for little ones, and it’s Baby Bookworm approved!
(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)