Oscar’s Lion


Who is Oscar’s Lion? Then again, what is Oscar’s Lion? Not only does it appear to wear Oscar’s parents’ slippers on its paws when it negotiates preparing Oscar’s dinner, but then at various points, this Lion can morph into other forms. It’s a stag beetle as it leads Oscar to the museum, then a goldfinch when Oscar goes to Granny’s grave. Oscar recalls how much his Granny loves goldfinches and longs to tell her about it, but the goldfinch lion seems to fade away, tearfully.

Then again, as the days pass, and Oscar’s parents do not come home, Oscar has to encourage the Lion to find the energy to keep up. It’s one thing to enable Oscar to encounter the Bucentaure and the funny man in the Dairylea hat, but Carlton? The boy who only invited Oscar to his birthday party as he’s a neighbour? Whom the lion seems to overwhelm? What is going on?

Oscar’s Lion is a truly magical book. From the outset, we’re immersed in Oscar’s world, the dilemma of the lion and the shape of his days. It means that we share his confusion, while marvelling at all he learns and experiences. After all, who hasn’t wanted to make a den? Then again, we feel the void in his heart that Granny has left, and realise how he’s struggling to find his place in the world, in the general doings of life.

Bookwagon recommends this thoughtful, aware, empathetic and wonderful novel highly. Oscar’s Lion is a delight.

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Oscar’s Lion

Adam Baron, illustrated by Benji Davies


Oscar is startled by the lion’s appearance. Although their slippers are in his parents bedroom, it seems there’s no sign of either his Mum or Dad, while the lion’s lip licking is rather startling. Then again, he suggests that he won’t need feeding for a couple of days. What’s more, he’s able to engineer shepherds’ pie from the freezer. Yet, who is Oscar’s Lion?
As his parents do not return, it seems that Oscar is in for a weekend with this lion. However the lion is a shape shifter, moving from stag beetle to Alsatian across the time it’s there. Then again, nothing is usual, from the den that he creates for Oscar to sleep in, to their outings. Football practice isn’t the same, and then school, where the lack of a homework poster is overlooked in the maelstrom that Oscar witnesses. What has it to do with the overlarge seagull that disturbs Juliet?
Adam Baron creates a beautifully paced story, wherein we are granted access to the confusion, fear, hurt and anxiety that Oscar feels. We see this at school, where he’s an outsider, watching the Hula Hoops gather, blaming his parents for his forgetfulness. Then again, we see him rejected from football. However the lion’s an enabling presence, one who can adapt to each experience and make it better for Oscar, until they venture to Granny’s grave. Although Oscar wants to share the goldfinch lion with Granny, somehow it dissolves…
Like The Elephant, the metaphysics and symbolism employed in this empathetic, stirring and beautiful book work to such meaningful effect. Altogether, Oscar’s Lion is an emotionally glorious, empowering story to read, share and hold in your heart.


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