Library Lion

Common Sense Media says

Lion of a tale proves libraries are for everyone!





What parents need to know

Positive messages
Not applicable
Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that nothing objectionable is presented in this imaginative story, although some kids might wonder whether or not a lion could really visit a library.

Parents say

Kids say

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What's the story?

This book isn't so much about lions as it is about rules: when they should be kept and when they can be broken. The likable lion loves the library and, since no rules exclude lions from visiting, he is allowed in. Besides loving story-time, he learns to keep his roar in check and becomes quite helpful. He dusts encyclopedias, licks envelopes, provides a comfy backrest for children, and otherwise settles in amid the books, into the place he loves. Everyone loves the affectionate, soft-padding lion, except the intolerant, rule-minded Mr. McBee, the stricter of the two librarians.

Is it any good?


Connecting a lion to a library isn't as strange as you'd think. In fact, if you ever visit the New York City Library, you'll find twin statues of these regal animals guarding the main entrance. It's almost as if Michelle Knudsen and Kevin Hawkes have brought one of those amazing beasts to life in their award-winning book, LIBRARY LION. This gentle and funny book has been recognized by the Junior Library Guild, School Library Journal,, and Child's magazine as one of the best books of 2006. It also received the Oppenheim Toy Portfolio 2007 Platinum Award for excellence.

It's easy to see why Library Lion has been received with such a roar, and why it has remained on the NYT Best Seller List for so long. This is a terrific, full-bodied story that will entertain and engage readers of all ages, especially those who love libraries. Through its richly developed text and wonderfully sensitive illustrations, it does more than teach the obvious lesson. It also shows us that libraries are magical places, where amazing things can happen, people are friendly, and children and lions are accepted. Best of all, it celebrates libraries: What a wonderful thing it is that they are for everyone!

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about rules. Why do we have rules, and are there ever times when they should be broken? Do you think the lion should have been allowed in the library?

Book details

Author:Michelle Knudsen
Illustrator:Kevin Hawkes
Genre:Picture Book
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Candlewick Press
Publication date:July 25, 2007
Number of pages:48
Publisher's recommended age(s):4 - 7

This review of Library Lion was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Parent of a 3, 5, and 6 year old Written byWaltzing Matilda October 30, 2009
Wonderful message about inclusion. The book also shows why sometimes "RULES" should be broken and we should think for ourselves.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models


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