The Happy Lion Roars

Roger Duvoisin

The Happy Lion Roars
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The Happy Lion Roars

Roger Duvoisin

In the second title in this classic series, our friendly hero, The Happy Lion, is lonely. When a beautiful lioness comes to town with a visiting circus, the Happy Lion pays her a visit and it is love at first sight! The Happy Lion finds a way to release her and hide her in his enclosure. When she is discovered he won’t let anyone separate them, and his friend Francois convinces the mayor to let the lioness stay. Age range 3 to 6 

‘Genuine mid-century styling will appeal to art lovers as well as the nostalgia market. The lion is drawn with great sensitivity and Duvoisin’s tawny palette is pleasingly appropriate.’ - Books for Keeps 


A happy lion is comfortable in his zoo, far from his home, in ‘a lovely French town with brown-tile roofs and grey shutters’.

He is an insouciant fellow with a ‘bonjour’ here, an ‘au revoir’ there, always enjoying the music each Sunday played on the bandstand (waltzes and polkas, mostly). He is a happy lion. Well, until one day the keeper leaves the door open, and the lion goes off to visit all those friends who greet him so warmly. So why, as he walks the cobblestone streets, are people fainting when he says ‘bonjour’, and why are those normally so happy to see him now running away screaming? And why the sirens?

Louise Fatio’s text is a joy to read aloud – its humour subtle, its charm powerful – while Roger Duvoisin’s pen and charcoal images are energised with splashes of tawny yellows and geranium reds. The book’s themes of empathy and the power of friendship are as fresh as when The Happy Lion first appeared, nearly 70 years ago.

Two further titles by Fatio and Duvoisin, The Happy Lion Roars and The Three Happy Lions, continue the adventure. All are highly recommended for ages 3+.

Mike Shuttleworth works as a bookseller at Readings Hawthorn.

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