The Lion and the Bird

Marianne Dubuc | Enchanted Lion Books | 64 pages

The Lion and the Bird is one of those very special books. In similar fashion as her book The SeaMarianne Dubuc has told a story that embraces the passage of time through long pauses in dialogue and subtle illustrations. Twice as thick as a typical picture book, The Lion and the Bird is a bounty of visual delight. Marianne’s style shows an illustrator that loves to draw and is a master of texture, color and most of all restraint. Her renditions of the lion, the bird and the seasons (with pencil and paint) are both charming and elegant at the same time. Her sense of scale and space command every single spread. Turning each page greets you with a brand new view of the unfolding journey. It has a very cinematic nature of rhythm and pacing.

The story is about a friendship that begins as the lion takes in a wounded bird. Lion feeds and shelters bird and within a couple of wordless pages they become fast friends, (bird nests in lion’s mane). But eventually bird signals to lion that it’s time to leave. Marianne’s drawings of these moments speak volumes. The following pages will tear anyone up as they watch the sadness overcome lion. Without spoiling the surprise ending—let’s say love wins out.

The Lion and the Bird is the kind of book that will endure time and bring hours of thought and conversation about friendship, diversity and seasons. It is simply a beautiful creation—and my pick for this year’s Caldecott.

3 Responses to “The Lion and the Bird”

  • Carridine Poran says:

    The image of the bird riding in the lion’s mane is wonderful. It is so rare these days that an image charms me. It is certainly true that these illustrations are charming, elegant and restrained. There is a quiet to them that earns them return visits.

  • Wendy says:

    I’m going to check out this book! Thanks.

  • Sarah says:

    I work as a librarian on a Bookmobile. When this book came through, I sat down at my desk and read through it with a small smile present from page one to the last. Great book for one-on-one story time, asking a child what is happening in the images when there are no words to describe it to them.

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