FICTION

A Lion in Paris

tr. from French by Rae Walter. illus. by Beatrice Alemagna. 32p. Tate. 2014. Tr $19.95. ISBN 9781849761710.
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K-Gr 2—A lion, unhappy with his life, sets off to find "a job, love, and a future." He arrives at a Paris train station, expecting to be met with fear and even violence, but instead he is virtually ignored: "More than anything, the lion liked to be noticed." After some existential sadness in the rain, he starts to enjoy the sights of the city. Finally, he discovers an empty plinth at a crossroads, climbs up on it, and decides to stay there and become a Parisian landmark. There are only one or two short sentences per page, and there is little continuity from one spread to the next, making the story seem disjointed. The mixed-media illustrations include photographs, detailed drawings, and loosely sketched figures that play with scale to create a surreal world with a beige and orange color scheme. Perspective is flattened, causing objects to appear piled on top of one another. The pages are meant to be turned upward like a wall calendar, making it best for one-on-one reading, especially because of the large trim size. This story about finding where you are appreciated in the world will be more at home on coffee tables and in museum gift shops than at bedtime.—Anna Haase Krueger, Ramsey County Library, MN

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