Lou Peacock, also author of Oliver Elephant, has worked alongside illustrator Lisa Sheehan to create a brilliant picture book that gives a clear message, sharing is indeed caring.
Sharing is a funny old concept and one that can really take time to develop successfully in children. Sometimes you just don’t want to give up your toy right there because someone else is interested in it and on occasions you may just really want your mamma to share that spectacular gooey looking slice of chocolate cake. Sharing really is the idea of treating people the way you hope to be treated by others and Lou Peacock and Lisa Sheehan get this so right.
I was excited to share this with my 1 and 3 year old and I’m so glad I did.
Lionel is a happy looking lion who has a diverse group of animal friends.
Each day readers witness Lionel, in different scenarios, showing that he really is unable to share. His enthusiasm and over indulgence in purchasing many instruments on Monday leaves poor Elsa saddened by her friends actions. On Tuesday he is no different and gets hat happy, buying ten hats when he only needed one but that included a hat Benji had his eyes and paws on. Lionel’s poor friends.
Lionel proves to be a character that some perhaps would declare as a shopaholic and perhaps a little greedy too? He finds pretty things so appealing and is unable to say no, often leaving shops with many more purchases then intended. However, Lionel has justification for this and believes he can act in this way because he is a lion “And I get the lion’s share,” he proclaims.
Lisa Sheehan’s illustrations are so emotive and brilliantly expose each characters feelings at each stage of the story. As a reader not only are you witnessing Lionel and his not so brilliant choices but you are able to see the impact of his decisions on those around him. All the animals verbally try to defend themselves but Lionel always gets his way.
Lou Peacock’s writing is in keeping with it’s target audience and whilst sharing the story with my 3 year old you could easily see the impact the language was having on her impressions of Lionel. One word that my daughter highlighted was “snatched,” a word that has been used in these parts also. She also loved how Lionel “…wibbled and wobbled out of the shop” with his ten hats in tow.
As well as the book exploring friendship, social interaction and emotions there are also additional learning points within the text. The use of the days of the week (also highlighting Lionel’s repetitive non sharing behavior), shapes and counting of purchases made and lastly colours. Such details are part of everyday vocabulary for my 3 year old but for my 1 year old this detail is brilliant.
Whilst at a party Lionel soon realises the consequences for his actions, not only for his behavior at the party but also across the week. He becomes angry but it soon turns to sadness and he is left with no friends. His friends too are so sad.
Can Lionel make things better? What could Lionel do to make his friends happy?
This is a great read and one that I’m sure we will be sharing again and perhaps using it as a gentle reminder on choices.
We have our eyes on Lou Peacock’s work now and what a brilliant debut from Lisa Sheehan. She has created illustrations that are so appealing to look at. The pallete chosen is light and fresh and my 1 year old in particular really enjoyed the illustrations.
Thank you so much to publishers Nosy Crow for this book. The book will be published 11th January.