Leo A Baby Lion’s Story is one of a number of works published in a series “My Animal Family.” This is the story of a baby lion growing up on the Serengeti plains as seen through the eyes, and told by Leo, a baby lion cub. This 31 page book has been meticulously researched and is extremely accurate as to the facts presented. Each animal, each situation is new and the writers have been able to convey this newness to the reader. The paintings of the various animals and plants are completely anatomically correct.
The text is simple and easy to follow and fits perfectly with the illustrations. And speaking of illustrations; the artist has used soft colors which blend perfectly and give the reader the feeling of actually being their, yet has not crossed the point where they seem to be actual photographs. This had made the work much more effective in my opinion and has enabled the story to be told without the constraints of having to follow pictures taken in the wild. Please note that these paintings are completely child appropriate. There is no tearing apart of other furry creatures, no upsetting images of the sudden death that is usually presented in this environment. The critters portrayed here actually seem to be getting along quite well, but not in the cartoonish sort of way we often see in such works. There is little to no anthromorphizing here. I find this refreshing. If the illustrations are examined closely, it would appear that the actual art work has been superimposed digitally over the actual photographed back ground in several frames, and done so quite effectively. It is difficult to tell…you have to look closely.
The story examines closely the relationship of the lion pride, mother, father and children. This gives the adult reader many opportunities to discuss family life with the child and his or her relationship with other member of their own family. I like this.
This book is great, but that is not all you get! Included with this work is a wonderful DVD filled with shots of actually lions on the Serengeti. A child’s voice narrates the lion cub’s story. These films and shots are actual BBC footage and also consist of original songs which are also loaded with lion facts and trivia; this DVD alone with worth the price of the book. You also get a card which contains a secret pass word that allows you to enter a wonderful interactive web site which is loaded with various educational games. Again, the footage on the DVD and the games on the web site are completely child appropriate. They are fun and extremely educational. I am one of those people who simply cannot stand computer games of any sort, yet I found myself fascinated with some of the offerings here.
The book itself is very well made and is sturdy enough to take quite a beating. The boards and paper are of high quality and have the look and feel of a much more expensive book. Reading level for this one is from pre-readers through beginning readers (3-9). This is a perfect book, or I should actually call it a package, to use in the class room and would be absolutely ideal for those who are home schooling their children. In this day and time when we are looking for more “bang for your dollar,” I can hardly see how you can go wrong with this one.
All in all, this is a complete class act. I have kid tested these books (two classes of first graders) and the book, along with the DVD was a complete success, i.e. the kids loved it.
A Baby Lion's Story needs to be read to kids.