Clementine and the Lion by Zoey Abbott

Clementine and the Lion by Zoey Abbott, Kids Can Press, 2022. 9781525305627 

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 4

Format: Hardcover picture book

What did you like about the book? Clementine has a big bush of red hair that her mother tells her is unruly; she is also not permitted to sit on the furniture in dirty clothes…When Clementine’s parents disappear (mother snatched by dragons and Dad lost at sea in a bottle) she finally has ultimate freedom to do as she pleases.  She eats when she pleases, sings to the plants and wears her hair as she wants.  She is happy. Then Aunt Mildred turns up who is more restrictive than her parents.  What to do? She creates invisibility paint, concealing her house so completely Aunt Mildred cannot find it. Finally. Ultimate freedom to do as she pleases – until a bossy, take-over lion arrives forcing Clementine right out the door! She has to lay down the law.  And she does. The two become great friends, deciding to wash the invisibility paint off the house so that her parents can find it when they return. The artwork, done in pencil and gouache, often has a page that is all lavender, all white with the exception of Clementine’s red hair, screaming red or pastels.  Clementine’s personality has no problem shining through.

Anything you did not like about the book? No.

To whom would you recommend this book? This story is a feast for the imagination: what really happened to Clementine’s parents?  Where did the lion come from? What is really going on?? Young children will not question these things but enjoy Clementine’s inventive pluckiness.

Who should buy this book? Public libraries and child-care centers, K-1 classrooms

Where would you shelve it? Picture books

Should we (librarians) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Very fun and imaginative but not at the top-

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Katrina Yurenka, Retired Librarian, Contributor, Youth Services Book Review

Date of Review:  April 1, 2022

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