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Review: The Lion and the Bird by Marianne Dubuc

The Lion and the Bird
By Marianne Dubuc

Enchanted Lion Books

ISBN: 9781592701513
Grades PreK-1
In Stores May 13, 2014

Find it at:
Schuler Books | Your LIbrary

Pretty much by definition, quiet books tend to fly under the radar. Some rightfully so, as the wick is turned down so low it struggles to keep from extinguishing completely. But then you have books like The Lion and the Bird by Marianne Dubuc (Animal Masquerade) – full of subtle humor and drama that resonates rather than disappears. This is a friendship story full of empathy and beauty.

Our story begins in late fall.

Lion is working in his garden

when he hears a sound.

The sound he hears is an injured bird, separated from his flock heading south. Lion tends to the injury and invites Bird into his home to recuperate. It isn’t long before the two become friends, sledding and ice fishing through the winter months. When spring arrives, Bird leaves to rejoin his flock. In Bird’s absence, Lion realizes going through life with a friend makes the days better.

The clearly-rendered illustrations feature a muted palette that perfectly matches the tone of the story. Smaller vignettes give way to two page spreads, highlighting key moments in the plot. At every turn, Dubuc shows rather than tells; the single eighth note used to reveal Bird’s return; the four-spread sequence showing the winter slowly turning to the first signs of spring. Each is memorable and effective.

So while it may attempt to fly under the radar, make sure you don’t let that happen.

Review copy from the publisher.

About Travis Jonker

Travis Jonker is an elementary school librarian in Michigan. He writes reviews (and the occasional article or two) for School Library Journal and is a member of the 2014 Caldecott committee. You can email Travis at scopenotes@gmail.com, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.


  1. LOVED this one too. Glad to see it highlighted here!

  2. Oh, I can’t wait to see this. Looks gorgeous.

  3. Saw this at Midwinter and loved it.