The Lion Inside
Funny, Sweet, Fresh
“In a dry, dusty place where the sand sparkled gold, Stood a mighty flat rock—all craggy and old.” So begins The Lion Inside, a story of an unlikely friendship between a mouse who lives at the base of this rock and a lion who lives on top. Due to his size, the mouse feels overlooked, insignificant, and desires to be like the lion who is universally admired. The mouse hatches a plan to bring out his inner lion, but it will require him to be brave.
With fresh writing like “And under that rock in a tinyful house,” and “ON TOP of the rock, Times were quite different. It was LION o’clock!” Bright’s text is active and her rhyming couplets give the story momentum. The end felt slightly moralistic, but Field’s spirited and comic illustrations keep the focus on the sweet friendship between the two characters. Field’s use of perspective is particularly effective as readers oscillate between the mouse’s and the lion’s point of view.
The Lion Inside would be a fantastic read-aloud book for preschool or early elementary children, and could prompt discussions about important topics such as courage, self-assertion, and making friendships across differences. I would recommend the book to any readers who love animals, friendship, and books that make them giggle (which is to say, of course, that I would recommend it to most children!).
A sweet story about unlikely friends.