End Papers to Lion Hunt Image


A favorite summer camp chant gets a refreshing new life when two contemporary African sisters set out on an animal hunt. This time, though, they’re after a lion, not a bear, and the landscape is a wide-open savanna rich with animal life. All the familiar appeal of the original is here. Each page begins with the same phrase, “We’re going on a lion hunt. We’re going to catch a big one. We’re not scared. Been there before. Oh, no. . . .”
The infectious repetition gives way to new obstacles to navigate-long grass, a lake, a swamp- before the lion is found and the girls retrace their tracks (lion in pursuit) and find home. In vivid pastels, Axtell paints the girls and animals running side by side, drawing the reader into the wild fantasy and gleeful terror of the game, as well as the delight the sisters find in each other. With its musical, easily remembered text and full-page illustrations, this will be a perennial story-hour hit. Gillian Engberg


School Library Journal
Axtell takes a story time classic to the African savannah, where loving sisters enjoy a day’s adventure. With fruit, juice, and teddy bear in hand, they travel through towering green grasses under the watchful eye of a giraffe, swim through a dappled blue lake with zebras and a flamingo, and pull each other through a squishy swamp unbeknownst to a hippopotamus.
They wake the lion sleeping in his cave, and as he follows them, they arrive home and shut the door safely. The adventure has neither dampened their spirits nor muddied their white anklets.

Axtell’s sun-soaked, impressionistic oil paintings offer beautiful landscapes and engaging details, from wild animals who linger at a safe distance, to a dropped teddy that is retrieved just in time. Large figures on the page make this a good choice for story times as well as lap times. Like Michael Rosen’s We’re Going on a Bear Hunt (McElderry, 1989), this lovely picture book will delight preschoolers. Laura Scott, Baldwin Public Library, Birmingham, MI  (copyright Reed business info)