The Lion in Our Living Room

by Emma Middleton 

illustrated by Briony Stewart

Affirm Press 2017 32 pp hardback $21.99 ISBN 9781925584226

This is the story of two children, a boy and a girl, and their dog who wonder if ‘the mighty lion’ may come out and play with them today. They spy around the corner in the garden, search the living room, and even look in the toy box. Dad yawns and says he is going for a nap but when he is gone the lion appears and the children have a wonderfully rambunctious time cavorting around with the large playful lion who turns out to be Dad in a lion mask.

This story celebrates imaginative play as well as a loving relationship between a father and his children. The illustrations are delightful, with soft colours, different perspectives and plenty of action. There is a clue in the endpapers which show all the things needed to make a lion mask. The brief loosely rhyming text on each page is just enough as the illustrations do an excellent job of moving the action along. An ingenious way of encouraging parents to play with their children.

Reviewed by Mia Macrossan

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