Touring Picture Book Club: How To Be A Lion by Ed Vere.

Touring Picture Book has returned this month with a roar some read but perhaps not as you know it. Ed Vere has completed a read that has got all of us in the Touring Picture Book club excited to share. Published earlier this summer it is a read that we all highly recommend.

How To Be A Lion

How To Be A Lion could not have been written at a better time, politically and personally. As a family we are about to see my eldest daughter begin school (in fact the day this blog post will be published) and of course with it comes many emotions. As a parent of course I hope that she will be happy at school but I also wonder about her friendships, the type of friend she will be to others and ultimately I just want her to be herself. Of course much of what I mention is out of my control and although we have discussed this, books like How To Be A Lion really help.

Award winning Ed Vere has created a protagonist that will have you thinking twice about lions because guess what, they are not all the same. Put aside your introductions to roar some lion characters you may have come across previously and embrace the gentle, poetry loving Leonard the lion.


Leonard enjoys long walks and spending time thinking. Unlike other lions he is not fierce and loud and even befriends animals, who could potentially make for a yummy snack. He befriends a duck who is startled when confronted by Leonard but they become friends, dear friends and they support each other like good friends do. However, other lions are not impressed by Leonard’s new friendships and believe that Marianne, the duck should be gobbled up.

Leonard is a male lion who is representative of voices who don’t feel the need to shout to be heard. Leonard proves that his own effective way of reading his own poetry aloud to lions that object to his gentle way and friendship with Marianne, is enough for his point to be heard.

“There are so many ways that you can be you.”

What a grand job Leonard does and what a poignant part of the book which made me stop in my tracks because it is that good but I won’t spoil it for you.


Ed Vere has cleverly written a picture book that embraces new friendships, unheard of to some, but what may look obscure on the outside is a friendship that many will long for. It is also a friendship between a male and female character because that too is ok. It is a read that wants each reader to feel comfortable in their own skin and know that real happiness comes when you are true to yourself.

The illustrations throughout the book are fun and the sketchy lines of drawing make it a approachable read and it seems one that my girls like trying to replicate. The sunset tones add warmth to the read and we just think the book is pure brilliance. Ed Vere, you have new fans residing at my home address!

As you will know Touring Picture Book not only like to review awesome books but we like to go beyond the book too. Each of us have done something a little different inspired by Ed Vere’s book and for us it was getting creative.

My eldest in particular loved the glowy, orange tones and completed some art inspired by the illustrations from the book with help from her younger sister also. Using Brian Arts paint sticks, which are just brilliant, she created a lovely lion mask. She first painted a paper plate using the paint sticks and then using leaves of different colours created a mane. As the colours in our garden are changing due to a change of season approaching we have lovely autumnal colours beginning to peak through which was perfect for this activity.

A fun mask to complete with the help of nature.

To see what the rest of the team got up to click on the links below. You will not be disappointed:

Bookbairn- joy of signed books.

Acorn Books – Silly Sentences

Along Came Poppy- A celebration of friendship

Hope to see you soon for more Touring Picture Book fun.



Disclaimer: The publishers sent each of us a copy of this book. All words and opinions are entirely my own.

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