Children’s books tend to be colourful and fun, but every now and again they also contain an important message. ‘The Lion Who Wanted to Love’ is one of those books that is a joy to read, but also contains a lesson that I feel is important for any child (or adult) to learn.
Leo the lion is a little different to the rest of his pack, he isn’t fierce and he doesn’t want to learn how to hunt. Leo wants to make lots of friends and love everybody instead. Because he is so different to the rest of the pride, they turn their back on him and he is forced to leave.
But Leo decides he will not be forced to change who he is and what he stands for in order to fit in with the rest of the other lions, so makes his way into the jungle where he becomes a bit of a hero and all of the other animals become his friends. Because of how strong Leo is by being different, his pride accept him back and decide to make him King.
The likelihood is that when our children get to school age, they are likely to come across other children who perhaps pick on or isolate others. A lot of children may find it easier to copy this behaviour, but this book teaches that it takes more strength to be different and not copying others behaviour, but instead choosing to be kind and compassionate. A strength I hope to nurture in my children. I personally think teaching children kindness and compassion is incredibly important and ‘The Lion Who Wanted To Love’ teaches these qualities through a fun and colourful storybook.
The illustrations by David Wojtowycz are beautiful and colourful, which really helps to keep younger children interested in the story. You may recognise some of the characters throughout the book from Giles Andreae’s previous children’s book, ‘Rumble in the Jungle’.
‘The Lion Who Wanted to Love’ is one of our family favourites and is always top of the pile when it comes to storytime.