Dave Skinner (text) & Aurélie Guillerey (artwork)
(Orchard Books)

With her darling dimples, charming freckles and an adorable button nose, Lucy Lupin is as sweet as pie … or is she? Little Lucy might look like butter wouldn’t melt, but she likes a good prank, particularly when visiting the library. But lying and being naughty always comes back to bite you eventually, and sometimes quite literally!

There’s a LION in the Library is an inventive, quirky take on the traditional tale of the boy who cried wolf (and there is a little nod to that in Lucy’s name), which doesn’t shy away from the darker side of the tale . There is a new facet to the tale however: don’t judge a book by its cover (or a little girl by her angelic expression)! Appearances can be deceiving and this is very much aimed at the adults in the story who think sweet little Lucy couldn’t possibly be naughty. Lucy, like the boy, gets her comeuppance in the end and this is dealt with in a dark but very satisfactory manner (think Emily Gravett’s Wolves meets Hilaire Belloc’s Jim)!
The scenes of chaos as people escape the supposed lion appearance are particularly joyous, bursting with colour, and lots of details to pore through. Aurélie Guillerey’s artwork has hints of 1950s retro, reminiscent of Sempé and Duvoisin; it is vibrant and brilliant at catching facial expressions with a few lines.

Funny and full of energy, this is a brilliant read-aloud and a great new version of an old favourite.


source: publisher copy

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